Will Alex Bregman ever hit .300 and does it matter?


It is a statistic that has become almost quaint in the modern world of OPS and WAR and BAbip and wOBA, but Batting Average is a stat that still means something to many fans. A .200 BA was that Mendoza line between hopeless and hapless. A .250 BA was the line between passable and good. And .300 BA? Well those players below .300 were good, solid players while those above it were the very best hitters around.

And here comes Alex Bregman….. Watching him every day he is a terrific, solid, clutch cold eye killer of a hitter. He carried the team on his back for most of 2018. He is out there trying to carry them again in 2019 with the Three Amigos (George Springer, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa) on the sideline. But one thing he is not is an over .300 hitter in his admittedly short career.

As a rookie after his call-up in 2016, he started off 0 for 18 and then 2 for 36 before turning things around and slowly rising to a solid .264 BA for the season. In 2017 he was over .300….. after a 1 for 3 on opening day and then got no closer than .288 in late August. In 2018, he was everything to the Astros, leading them in runs (105), hits (170), doubles (51), HRs (31), OBP (.394) and OPS (.926), but falling short (.288) of the .300 mark in BA.

Here in 2019, he was actually over .300 for a fairly good chunk of April, but May has been his huge month for production. Heading into the last game of the month his May has included huge numbers…. 23 runs, 12 HRs, 24 RBIs, .375 OBP, 1.035 OPS and….. a pedestrian .270 BA.

And the question that goes with this is …..Does it really matter? Here we are in 2019 and Bregman is among the top two (with Springer) in all those same categories (runs, HRs, RBIs, OBP, OPS) for the Astros, while sporting the 6th highest batting average.

On top of everything else, Bregman could be having that .300 season already if he had a little bit of luck. His BAbip (Batting Average on Balls in Play) is an unlucky .243. Considering his career BAbip is .293, that is an unexpectedly low number. That number is normally around .300 for the MLB and this season the Astros as a team are hitting .298.

The bottom line here is that Bregman may or may not push across that archaic .300 barrier this season, but it is unlikely to change the fact that he is one of the most productive players in the game.

81 comments on “Will Alex Bregman ever hit .300 and does it matter?

  1. I think Bregman will hit .300 in an outlier year. It will be a year that he determines to do it, and once he does it, he will move on to something different to accomplish.

    Like

  2. I personally think it still matters – just not nearly as much as it used to. For a middle of the order hitter like AB, I think the more relevant OTBG kind of stat is BARISP. We need run production -and guys who prolong rather than kill innings. For this reason, for a guy like him, RBIs is still an important stat on the positive side, and GIDPs and SO stats are still very important stats on the negative side. He’s been pretty impressive in those categories this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think Bregman could hit .300 if he wanted to. But if he’s going to give us 35 homers and drive in a 100 plus runs and keep his OBP up, then .300 if not very important. And then there are all those other advanced stats, some of which are too advanced for me!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Not with a launch angle over 21 degrees. Never. He is trading average for power. With a great eye at the plate and excellent hands he will keep a good OBP and high OPS. Lots of rollovers and pop ups will keep BABIP low but the tradeoff for productivity is probably worth it.

    Brings up an interesting question. Bregman could probably hit well over .300 with lots of line drives and 10-15 HR, or he can hit .275 with 35-40 HR and fewer line drives. In the end, which is more valuable?

    Like

    • Again, vewill1, I’m no advanced metrics expert, but at first glance, I’d sure take 25 more homers over 25 points on the BA.

      My general thought on Bregman is that more than any hitter on the club, he can adjust and provide what the team needs at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. I think Bregman may be one of those guys that get to the point where he can go high launch on the right pitch for a HR and low for the right pitch for a line drive.

        Like

  5. All I know is that when I watch Bregman and Brantley bat, both should get a hit every at bat. And when I watch Gurriel, it appears it would take a miracle for him to ever get a hit.

    Like

  6. Last year, Bregman played in 157 games and hit .286. 31 HRs. And he led the league in doubles. He had 316 total bases.

    In 1941, Ted Williams played in 143 games and hit .406. 37 HRs. He had 335 total bases.

    And then it was a different era. Bregman last year was 96 walks with 85 Ks. In 1941, Williams had 147 walks with only 27 Ks.

    Liked by 2 people

      • VW, you are correct. Ted Williams was a close personal friend of mine……… Nope, I can’t pull that one off. But it is so strange to think how much the view or opinion of stats has changed. Mickey Mantle lead the league in Ks 5 times. His highest year was 1959 with 126. Had he done that last year, he would have finished about #67 in Ks. Yoan Moncada led with 217.

        And on the Williams-Bregman comparison. That year Williams had an OBP of .553. Bregman was .394. (Williams for his career, his OBP was .482)

        Like

      • I guess when we look back to the players from 50+ years ago, the farthest they had to travel was St. Louis. Played a week worth of fewer games. All sorts of differences. And Williams played with Jensen and Piersall. One retired because he had an intense fear of flying. The other had a fear of striking out (at least that was the title of his autobiography.)

        Like

  7. What a blessing Alex Bregman is. How many teams have a third baseman who plays at a super high level, but is equally good at shortstop? Add to that, a love for the game and his team so large that he signs an extension before he hits arbitration. Add to that, he is celebrated and scorned by millions of fans because he puts himself out there and you have the makings of a superstar baseball player. Add to that, his decision to learn Spanish in order to be able to communicate with his teammates.
    Bregman has never hit for an elite batting average, but he is an elite baseball player in that he delivers results.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. The Aiken situation was the most fortunate thing to happen to this franchise. Just imagine if the young man has been healthy and the signing went through. It is possible he would not even be up to the majors by now or ever. High school pitchers (see Forrest Whitley) are no sure things.
    Bregman is the one guy I want up at the plate when it matters most

    Liked by 1 person

      • BC, I thought you were joking. But unfortunately for Aiken and the Indians, you were not. And it took him two different appearances to get those 2 outs.

        Like

      • We really dodged a bullet by not signing him. I was against drafting him from the beginning (I don’t believe in drafting high school pitchers) but thank God we got Alex in the process.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I made a post yesterday saying I think Bregman will hit .300 some day. What it comes down to is that in 2018 he missed it by 7 hits. He did that despite Altuve and Correa being non-factors for a long stretch at the end of the season and having a bad left arm. As of today he’s only 6 hits down (for the season) of being at .300. If he has more hot streaks than cold streaks the rest of the way he’ll make that up. With guys like Brantley in the lineup I expect to see continued improvement from Bregman.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Conventional Wisdom used to be that a player needed about 3 years / 1500 at bats to figure out the league or to set his personal floor – ceiling. Bregman is 25 years old and just passed the 1500 at bat mark this year. I think he could certainly hit over .300 but am not worried about it at all. He is still 2 or 3 years away from the age when most players put up their best numbers. I just hope he stays healthy and stays in Houston for the rest of his career.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. So, MLB attendance is down.

    https://sports.yahoo.com/mlb-attendance-continues-to-drop-following-worst-season-since-2003-223509591.html

    I just approved an expense report where one of my BD guys purchased 6 tickets to take clients to an Astros/ Red Sox game. 6 tickets with tax, etc = $875. Parking (2 cars) = $ 60. Drinks and food = $125. Total cost for 6 = $1,060…. for 1 game! How can a family afford this?

    I have 4 seasons tickets that now cost me $24,600 per year. That does not include parking, concessions nor the upfront PSL cost. When I first purchased them they were less than $6,000 per year.

    MLB is very close to pricing the average family out of attending multiple games per year.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Leading off tonight for your Astros is Derek Joseph Fisher. He of the lowest OBP in the lineup and a career mark of .275. Let’s all cheer together and give it up for D-E-R-E-K FISHER! Wooho!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We keep winning 2/3 games which is great (that’s a 67% winning percentage which is a 108 win pace) but we seriously need to start getting healthier because having to start a lot of scrubs will catch up to us, and judging by this game and Wednesday, maybe it has

    Like

  14. Another beautiful win. A’s looking to make a move this series, instead lose the opener and can’t be overly excited about facing the next two guys. Wouldn’t it be great if Fisher became the real deal this time up?

    Like

  15. What a nail biter! Josh doing his thing, and then without some *WOW* defensive plays by Mayfield and Kemp, the guys don’t win this game! We have 3/4 of our regular superstars on the DL….and their replacements are filling in like they have been here since the season started!! BRAVO GUYS TAKE A BOW!!

    Like

    • That’s a little surprising. Of course last night – man on second – he hits it on the screws and the SS snags it. But maybe he’s pressing a bit with RISP.

      Like

  16. Thoughts from last night –
    – Myles Straw almost stole 2nd last night when pinch running for White, but Kemp fouled it off. That’s OK with me, because when Kemp then sent one over Robbie Grossman’s head we got to see White Lightning score from first. My God, Straw was a blur.
    – Super Jack Mayfield made an insanely good play with a drawn in infield – diving back and to the side to snag a bullet, hold the runner at third and gun down the hitter.
    – Josh Reddick who loves to hit against his own team – whacked a dinger out and Derek Fisher nailed the game winner.
    – Brad Peacock gave up the two run homer on a pitch you could tell he wanted to pull back as soon as it left his hand but was great other wise.
    – This is the 9th series in a row they have started with a win. That makes for a lot of series wins….

    Like

    • Peacock threw one more pitch that he wanted back and it was to Phegley. But Josh got under it and it turned out to be a fly ball. You could see Peacock jump and wince when Phegley hit it and then slump in relief when he realized the batter didn’t barrel it up.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I watched the postgame show this morning and Mike Stanton said, very matter-of-factly, that Tony Kemp would be back in the outfield Saturday. Wonder what he knows that we don’t.

    Like

    • Old pro – I saw that too and I think what he was trying to say not too successfully was that Hinch has all these tools where a Kemp could play infield today and outfield tomorrow

      Liked by 1 person

    • I just realized the Astros don’t have enough righty bats to sit Kemp against the lefty. And even against a lefty, White sits tonight. As much as I’ve touted him, I hope that when Diaz or Altuve gets back, Nephew gets put on waivers, with the hope that no one picks him up. I just don’t think he’ll get better playing for any club right now. He needs some organization, ideally ours, to help him start over. Maybe he can go to Florida, get in shape and help keep an eye on Whitney at the same time.

      Like

    • OldPro, I like Stanton and I like to listen to him. BUT, he was incorrect about Kemp in the outfield for the Saturday game. Lineup is out and AJ has Kemp at second base. That is where he should be.

      Like

  18. Dear Carlos Correa,
    If you want to be respected, don’t live with your fiancée before you marry her. If you want to be respected, don’t give the cool gesture when you hit the walkoff. If you want to be respected, show up. If you want to be respected, don’t take the easy way of blaming detractors and citing domestic violence as a no-no. If you think we’re being hard on you, think again. Most here were among those who kept calling for you to be called up from the wilderness when we thought we needed you. Most of us have hoped and prayed for nothing more than your success. Most of us had a lot of pain from Beltran, and I for one wrote
    him a letter when he left for the bright lights of Broadway, and I told him of my pain and disappointment. And there was no response, of course. Please understand 99 percent of us are on your side. There’s just certain things we don’t get. Why would we want you to fail? It’s not logical. We do not want you to
    fail. That is the frustration. In Jesus’ name, step up to the plate.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Diane, I hear you. And I should probably not make this post. As far as living with his fiancée, I can’t condemn that one. I’ve been there. As far as the on field antics go, I think it’s fair to say that our club, especially in the dugout, is about the most demonstrative bunch of guys in the league today. Sometimes it’s fun, but in general, I like the “look like you’ve been there before” mentality. Earl Campbell never spiked a football when he got into the end zone. But alas, I think MLB likes what we used to call hotdogging. They want the newest generation to embrace the game and I think they think all that stuff sells. Maybe they are right.

      So here is where I might get in trouble. I think Carlos is an immature 24 year old kid, coddled way too much for too long. No doubt he’s a remarkable talent. And I’m sure he’s a good kid. But if I had to guess, I don’t think he wears the pants in his house. I hope I’m wrong and I hope he has good judgement and uses it and a couple of his misfortunes are just that, things better judgement could not have helped avoid. As you correctly note Diane, I’m not sure if Carlos Correa could be in a more supportive city, both by the fans and the organization he is fortunate to be playing for.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dave, as far as “been there,” I am not claiming angelhood for myself, and I realize my post was emotional. The thing is, Carlos has unique talent and he’s in a unique forum. To whom much is given and so forth. Children, kids, toddlers look up to him. They know everything about him, including his lifestyle. It just brings responsibility, whether you want it or not. Yes, I noticed even Jeff Bagwell the other day said when he first saw the on-field antics of the new generation, he thought, “Guys, get back in the dugout.” But now he says he’s adjusting to the fun ways of today’s Astros. Maybe I’m just a codger at this point, but that’s how I feel. The anything goes mentality has helped get us where we are today, and I’m just not crazy about where we are today.

        Like

      • Diane, you and I are aligned. I’ve become one of those codgerrs too. And you’re right, a public figure, for his own good, sure needs to be cognizant of the message he delivers to the public that essentially makes him wealthy. Carlos is a pretty young 24. Although he come from a humble background, I doubt he made many of his own decisions. And I think that’s still the case today, maybe more so.

        Like

  19. I love Hinch leaving him in and I love Justin fulfilling the manager’s confidence in him. I don’t think I can watch the ninth inning. I am too nervous. We sure could use a couple more runs.

    Like

    • Our bargain catcher hit the ball hard all night. Then he delivered for you OP. I was one of the dubious ones when we paid him 6 million something.
      What impeccable defense! Those three guys in the outfield tonight might cover more ground than any other trio in the game.
      You’d think they’d be booing Reddick by now, but those few A’s fans still like our guy.
      It’s hard to come up with new things to say about Verlander.
      Maybe a bit of a demoralized A’s clubhouse tonight?

      Like

  20. *W O W*….SOOO many hero’s tonight but Verlander is in a league all his OWN!
    Best $66 million dollars Crane will have ever spent getting this man to sign a two year extension! *W O W*!!

    Like

  21. These last two wins have been “organizational” wins. With all the injuries, it takes a great organization to not only be competitive, but win when most of your Super Stars are not available. I have to give it to Luhnow, he has put together a bunch of 4A players that can at least be competitive in MLB baseball.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Wow, am I ever sorry I couldn’t stay up for that game last night. If there is any kind of replay today, please let me know.

    Like

  23. OK – so it is over the hump day. The Astros have won the first 2 games of a series seven times in a row, but have lost the 3rd or 3rd and 4th game the last four times (lost two to Chisox). Good time to get on a roll headed to struggling Seattle (5-17 in their last 22 games) followed by the bad Orioles (5-18 in their last 23 games). Can Cole pitch a solid game and get support?
    – It is fun when the call-ups can contribute. Straw was 0-4 last night but outran a fly ball in the first that even Jake would have been short on and helped JV out of the inning
    – We hate injuries, but injuries earlier in the year are not as bad as late as we saw the last two seasons. And it gives the team a little lift to get these energized kids in there (though Mayfield is older than Correa and Bregman by a few)
    – JV is a marvel – you know he will give you max effort, but is not just a high velocity thrower – really works the batters and mixes in the off-speed stuff enough to make his fastball look like 103 mph
    – Nice to rest Pressly and Osuna (though Osuna did warm up before Chirinos dinger)
    – Reddick sure is loving his old teammates pitching – 5 runs scored, 3 HRs, 5 RBIs in 7 games with a .321 BA/ .367 OBP/ 1.010 OPS

    Liked by 2 people

  24. -The DSL Astros began their season yesterday with a win.
    -The MLB Draft starts Monday night.
    -Soon after the draft will begin seasons for Tri City Valley Cats in the NY/Penn League and the GCL Astros.
    – In the first two games of the series, the Astros have made defensive plays and the Athletics have not. Interestingly enough, after todays game, the Astros will head to Seattle to play the worst defensive team in all of MLB.
    -The Astros are now #2 in baseball in batting slash lines, being overtaken by the Twins. But, the Astros are also #2 in team ERA in MLB and the combination of the two makes them pretty good.
    – Cleveland has pretty much fallen out of a chance to win their division. There’s a New Kid In Town.
    – An interesting note going into the Draft. Fangraphs has Boston ranked last in value of their farm system and has the Yankees ranked 29th. They have Houston ranked fifth.

    Like

  25. Just finished watching last night’s replay. Verlander vs. (Sigh) Young. Outstanding him staying in and Hinch letting him. Piddling minor thing I love about Verlander is he turns and watches the ball, even if it might be a homerun. Lot of pitchers nowadays, maybe always don’t know, won’t turn and look if they know it’s a homer. Also liked the look of appreciation on his face for outfield play. Which is one of the main good things about this team: They root for each other, genuinely. Chirinos was happy, of course, but so was the team for him.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s okay with me. He gave up 19 dingers last year. 14 so far in 2019. Seems like he’s throwing more mistakes. But he’s also got a batch of good stats. He’s bound to settle in and give us more of what we’ve become accustomed to from him.

      I love watching these fast kids running around out there!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Usually when the brass bring up the kids for short term help we often time watch them struggle offensively to make a difference. Thus far the call ups have really had a positive impact, both off/def, and yes Dave it’s fabulous to see.

    Like

    • OldSchool, you bet. We don’t win this game without those guys. Straw and Fisher combine for 5 hits, 2 walks, 4 runs scored and Fisher goes 3 for 3 in steals. We don’t steal three bases too often. And I really appreciate the way Hinch adjusts the game for these guys. He wants these kids creating havoc on the bases. What a dangerous team with this added speed when the regular bats come back.

      Like

  27. You remember the joke test they gave you in High School. The one with 50 questions, and the instructions read “Read all questions before beginning the test.” And the last questions said, “Write your name at the top and turn your paper in.” And there was one student that attempted to answer 49 questions before reading through as instructed.

    That obviously was me. So Diane, had I read all the comments, I would have seen that you already had watched the game from last night and there was no reason for me to mess it up multiple times.

    Like

      • You would think that the A’s would get a batter and their manager ejected over a bad call, wouldn’t you. But they picked a call from the ump that was spot on.
        It just goes to show how rattled the A’s were. There were lots of pitches that home plate ump missed today. Why would they pick one that he got right to blow up about. Sheesh!

        Like

  28. So proud of the way the Astros played in Oakland. The games were close but Houston just wore that green and gold team out in every game.
    I also want to compliment Garrett Stubbs on the game he played behind the plate. He had a lot of pressure on him today, handling Cole. And he threw out their fastest guy trying to steal.

    Like

  29. Went to the casino to blow off some personal steam. I sat in front of the big TV and watched the game and played slots instead of cards. I laughed out loud every time Straw and Fisher got on!! They drove the A’s pitchers nuts!!
    OP…I agree 100% these 3 or 4 guys who were called up were just what the doctor ordered! They breathed new life into these guys!! I know they are pretty tired but if they can take 3 out of 4 in Seattle I will be VERY happy!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s