Bregman collects four hits, scores five runs in Triple-A debut

Astros' No. 1 prospect doubles twice and drives in three in first Fresno game

Bregman collects four hits, scores five runs in Triple-A debut

Following the Texas League All-Star Game, Alex Bregman evaded the question.

"I cannot confirm or deny," the Astros' top prospect told of the possibility that he would be promoted to Triple-A Fresno following the game.

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Well, Bregman, the No. 18 overall prospect, can't hide the news anymore. His bat spoke volumes in his Grizzlies debut Thursday night in the team's 23-3 rout of Salt Lake.

Bregman swung at the first pitch he saw and singled to left. In the third, he collected his first Triple-A RBI via a double to left. In the fourth, it was another single, this one to center field and he drove in two more via a ground-rule double in the fifth.

When Fresno's offensive explosion finally concluded, the 22-year-old was 4-for-5 with a walk, two doubles, three RBIs and five runs scored.

But Bregman wasn't alone. Teoscar Hernandez, the Astros' No. 24 prospect, also had quite the game in his Triple-A debut.

Hernandez just missed out on a cycle, but still put together a 4-for-6 evening with a triple, homer and three RBIs.

The triple was the first of the season for Hernandez, who was hitting .305 at Double-A before the promotion.

Bregman, whom the Astros selected No. 2 overall in the 2015 Draft, is thriving in his first full professional season. After hitting .297 through 62 games and homering in the Texas League All-Star Game, Bregman was promoted to Triple-A. At the time of his promotion, Bregman had 46 RBIs and led the Texas League in slugging percentage (.559) and on-base percentage (.415).

Those numbers are part of the reason why the Astros started playing Bregman at third base. He was drafted as a shortstop, but with Carlos Correa manning that position in Houston, a switch to third could be Bregman's fastest path to the Majors.

Preston Tucker, who exhausted his prospect eligibility last year, had a huge game for Fresno. Tucker hit three homers, knocked in eight runs and scored five runs -- all career-high marks for the 25-year-old.

William Boor is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.