2012 MLB Draft Preview: Alex Bregman | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

2012 MLB Draft Preview: Alex Bregman

With the 2011 MLB draft very quickly approaching, I wanted to take a little bit of time to write about a New Mexican kid not named Blake Swihart.  Alex Bregman of Albuquerque Academy and the Albuquerque Baseball Academy, of which Swihart and Max Walla (2009 2nd Round, Brewers) have helped make famous around club baseball circles, is already a 2-time All-State 1st Teamer.  He likely will be selected to his third one in the next couple of weeks after a monstrous 2011 with Academy that ultimately ended in crushing defeat to Farmington’s Piedra Vista High in the title bout at Isotopes Park two Saturdays ago.  Bregman had a nice day at the plate with multiple XBH’s, but a costly error in the first inning which saw him turn an easy 2-ball into a 2-base throwing error.  Nevertheless, he was the best player in AAAA and will likely be in 2012 barring a meteoric rise from PVHS’s CF Shilo McCall.

Bregman is known very well in most baseball circles outside of New Mexico as USA Baseball’s U16 SS.  He hit .564 at the 2011 Pan Am’s with a couple of bombs and was awarded the Dick Case Award, the highest honor any prep player can earn within USA Baseball.  A list of guys who’ve won the Dick Case includes Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman, and Justin Smoak.  As an alum of prep baseball in New Mexico, it is very nice to see guys like Swihart, who hit cleanup for the U18’s, and Bregman put up such terrific numbers with Team USA because if reflects well on the competition existent at home.  Early this spring Bregman committed verbally to Louisiana State, which unofficially means that in consecutive seasons the top player in the state will turn down offers from UNM’s head coach Ray Birmingham.  Not good.

As far as 2012 draft stock goes, Bregman might be in a class of his own among prep shortstops with the bat.  While Addison Russell of Monsignor Pace in Miami should be regarded as the top prep infielder available in 2012, Bregman could climb a lot.  Preseason reputation called for Bregman to fall inside the first 3 rounds, but a terrific 2011 season has him poised to make a big push up if the summer and fall seasons go the way many think they can.  His hit tool is easily the best he has, but he is an average runner with enough arm for the left side as well.  His hands are playable, but his footwork keeps him from using them well right now.  This is likely a product of playing against poor runners growing up, because his tendency currently is to stay back and passively absorb GB’s as opposed to freeing his feet to move forward.  However, he is athletic and smart enough to learn the footwork aspect of playing short against better runners.  He has shown great plate discipline and some power with the bat too.

The first swing I ever saw him take was against an 86 mph belt high fastball that he hit about 420 feet as a 15-year old.  He probably weighed no more than 140 lbs. at the time.  Bregman will continue to get knocks for his defense, but he works very hard and has already come a long way in that department.  The nice thing about starting a pro career at short is that when a player is forced to move off of it, he can literally move anywhere on the field other than the bump.  I expect Alex Bregman to make a push to get inside the first 100 names off the 2012 board, which will mark the 3rd time in 4 seasons a prep player in NM does so barring unforeseen circumstances with Swihart’s signability.

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