School: LSU; Class: Junior
Position: SS; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-0; Weight: 186
Previously Drafted: Boston Red Sox, 29th round, 2012
Background: After (wisely) bypassing an opportunity to sign a professional contract as a 29th round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2012, Bregman burst onto the collegiate scene as a true freshman – and starting shortstop – for LSU.
The six-foot shortstop paced the perennial championship contenders in runs (59), hits (104), doubles (18, tied with Sean McMullen), triples (7), stolen bases (16), and finished second in homeruns (6) and slugging percentage (.546). And just for good measure, his .417 on-base percentage ranked third. Bregman would rake in some prestigious hardware for his work that season as well:
- First-Team All-American (Baseball America, ABCA, and Perfect Games)
- SEC Freshman of the Year
- First-Team All-SEC
- Louisiana Freshman of the Year
- NCAA Baton Rouge Regional Most Outstanding Player
Bregman would also make his first of two appearances for Team USA that summer, hitting a robust .361/.410/.486 while tying current Cubs minor league slugger Kyle Schwarber with a team-leading seven doubles.
His production would take a noticeable dip during his sophomore season in 2014 – he batted .316/.397/.455 with 16 doubles and six homeruns, but it was still good enough to earn him a Second-Team All-SEC nod – and it crated during his second stint with Team USA; he hit a paltry, at least by his previous standards, .257/.317/.330.
The New Mexican-born Bregman has bounced back in large fashion through his first 48 contest in 2015, however, setting career highs in on-base percentage (.424), slugging (.596), doubles (20), homeruns (eight), and stolen bases (26) as well as his walk rate (12.1%).
Projection: Let’s do a quick career comparison between Bregman and a couple of former highly touted collegiate shortstops:
Adjusting for Panik’s production, which was inflated by St. John’s schedule/conference (Big East), the argument could be made that Bregman and Turner rate as the top two shortstops. Bregman flashed a touch more power; Turner a bit more OBP.
Bregman, who’s likely to move across the bag to second base in the pros, offers up one of the best collegiate hit tools in the class. Above-average speed with 15-stolen base potential, 10- to 12 homeruns, and slightly below-average walk rates.
He’s a potential top-of-the-order-type hitter, not quite a leadoff bat but a solid #2, who could easily carve out a 12- to 15-year professional career. In terms of ceiling, think something like Adam Kennedy circa 2009 when he batted .289/.348/.410.
Ceiling: 3.0- to 3.5-win player
Floor: 1.5- to 2.0-win player
Risk: Low to Moderate
Grade: First Round, Top 15 selections