Bregman focused on making most of time at Triple-A

Bregman focused on making most of time at Triple-A

ROUND ROCK, Texas. -- Alex Bregman finished his four-day stay at Dell Diamond on Thursday and was met with a steady stream of reporters asking him if he was ready to stay in Texas a little longer. Bregman, the Astros' top prospect who's tearing it up for Triple-A Fresno, appears to be big league ready and is simply waiting on the call to Houston.

Until that happens, Bregman is saying all the right things. He says he's focused on helping the Grizzlies win, and determined to get better. The Astros have thrown him an extra challenge by putting him at third base and left field in recent days, but he's handled both well.

"To be honest with you, I'm focused on wining today's game," Bregman told a trio of Houston reporters before the game against Triple-A Round Rock. "That's pretty much it. I'm focused on trying to keep my head where my feet are, and my feet are playing for the Fresno Grizzlies so my mind has to be there as well. That's really all I'm focusing on."

Through 15 games at Triple-A, Bregman was hitting .388 with six homers, 15 RBIs and a .414 on-base percentage. He arrived at Fresno after hitting .317 with 20 homers, 61 RBIs, 45 walks and only 37 strikeouts in 77 games at Double-A Corpus Christi in the first half of the season.

"The biggest thing here is the guys in Triple-A are older, they've played more games professionally and they know what they're trying to do," Bregman said. "They have a plan and they execute their plan. You just have to stick to your approach and execute your plan at the plate. That's all I've been trying to do, [to] find ways to help the team win."

Fresno manager Tony DeFrancesco, when asked to compare Bregman to any player he's seen, didn't go too far back in the memory bank. He likened him to Carlos Correa, who made a pit stop in Fresno last year before being called up to Houston.

Bregman's three hits

"Alex has been quick through the system," DeFrancesco said. "He's been handling the press and the media as good as anybody, but his concern right now is helping this team out, learning a few different positions, coming to the park every day. He's been a sponge, and we're really excited to have him in our organization."

Fresno hitting coach Ralph Dickenson said Bregman's compact stroke and pitch recognition set him apart.

"When he gets ready to get into his hitting position, it's a very small move," he said. "The swing is short, it's quick and stays through the ball for a long period of time and he's putting good swings with those mechanics on good pitches, and when he hits them, he drives them."

Bregman's start in left field Thursday was just the second in his professional career at the position. At Double-A this year, Bregman, played 51 games at shortstop and 11 at third base and at Fresno had played his first 13 games at shortstop before starting at third on Tuesday and left field on Wednesday.

The Astros are set with Correa at shortstop and are expanding Bregman's versatility so they can get his bat in the lineup in Houston. He said finally getting that call from the Astros would be a dream come true, but for now the Bregman watch continues.

"It's really an honor to have so many people rooting for you," he said. "It's cool. Especially the people that have been there since day one. It's fun to have some success and for all the people to take every single at-bat with you. I have 50 people back home that watch every single at-bat, and if I get out they're [mad] and if I get a hit they're happy. They're taking every at-bat with me this year, and it's been fun."

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.