Top prospect Bregman makes 1st start in LF

Houston wants shortstop, Cuban infielder Gurriel to be versatile

Top prospect Bregman makes 1st start in LF

OAKLAND -- Alex Bregman, the Astros' top prospect who's dominated Minor League pitching this year, made his first start of the season in left field for Triple-A Fresno in Wednesday's game at Round Rock, going 3-for-5. It was Bregman's ninth multi-hit effort in his last 16 games.

Bregman, a shortstop, is expected to join the Astros soon, but with Carlos Correa entrenched at shortstop in Houston, he's been playing some other positions. When he gets called up, he's expected to play some third base, designated hitter and the outfield.

Meanwhile, Cuban infielder Yulieski Gurriel, who signed with the Astros on Saturday, will join the club in August and can also play third base. He should get some time in left field, as well, and Houston wants both to be as versatile as possible to get their bats in the lineup daily.

At Double-A Corpus Christi this year, Bregman played 51 games at shortstop and 11 at third base, and at Fresno, he had played his first 13 games at shortstop before starting at third on Tuesday and left field on Wednesday.

Bregman, the No. 2 pick in last year's Draft, entered Wednesday hitting .312 with a .413 on-base percentage, 20 homers, 61 RBIs, 45 walks and 37 strikeouts in 76 games combined at Corpus Christi and Fresno. He hit safely in 13 of his 14 games at Fresno, including seven multihit games, and had a .371 average with six homers and 15 RBIs there.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.