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2015 Phillies Draft Preview: Alex Bregman, SS/2B

Currently projected somewhere in the 10-15 range, he could be available when the Phillies pick. The Phillies would certainly have seen him last year while scouting teammate Aaron Nola. Would the Phillies go not only back-to-back College Player, but back-to-back LSU?

Alex Bregman
Alex Bregman
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

This draft has a handful of College Shortstops projected as First Rounders, with 2 of them likely to switch to Second in the Pros. Bregman is one of them. Scouts seem to feel he could stick at Short. However, with Crawford in the fold, it's hard to picture the Phillies keeping Bregman there if they take him. His Defense could play anywhere in the field, quite likely, but Second would both fill a need and allow him to progress the quickest. As a player, the name I keep seeing incessantly in Scouting Reports is Joe Panik. This could just be laziness as they're both ~6'0", 190 lb. white guys who play up the middle, and physically, do kinda look alike.

As a hitter, we'll start by talking stats, then approach, then swing. Bregman is a very patient hitter. His stats are somewhat reminiscent of Crawford's. In 2014 Bregman drew Walks at a 9.96% clip. He drew K's at a 7.75% clip. That's downright absurd. And it's not a fluke. In 2013 he drew 7.84% BB and 8.17% K. Of course, all that contact can come at a price: weak contact. I haven't seen enough of Bregman to gather if that is an issue for him and it isn't mentioned in Scouting Reports. In fact, among the flaws mentioned in Scouting Reports is a tendency for Bregman to swing for the fences, which seems incongruous to an 8% K rate. He also makes contact at a high enough clip that in the tough SEC he's been able to hit for average. A lot of that is because Bregman has a swing geared to contact. He keeps his bat pretty flat and stays through the zone (see video below) for a long time. He has some swing flaws to get addressed though. First he has a bit of a double hitch in his swing as his timing includes both a slide step and a significant hand load. The slide step is fine, the hand load is similar to the issue Maikel Franco has. Bregman drops his hands and pulls back prior to his swing. Now, Franco's load goes the other way -up and back- leaving Franco with a longer bat path. The down part of Bregman's load actually allows him to get into his flat swing, but his back load is more pronounced than Franco's and may be something professional Pitchers can exploit more easily in terms of messing up his timing. Another flaw he shares with Franco is that he can get very, very pull-happy in his approach and can get tied up inside. So, he'll likely have a few things to work on once he's taken.

Defensively you really could put Bregman virtually anywhere on the field. In High School he played Catcher as well and probably could have stayed there if the team needed a Catcher when he got to LSU. Some scouts note a move back to Catcher could still be a possibility, and a team may see his bat there as giving them a Joe Mauer-lite. Reports also note he may well be able to stick at SS as a pro. Reports speak a lot to his focus and intensity. He doesn't take plays off or make errors because he isn't paying attention to the game. His range is limited, but he compensates with positioning and charging balls to get the most out of his range and arm. He also has some of the classic Catcher traits as a noted team leader and smart player who understands the game. His power will likely max out as average, so he'd be tough to stick in a Corner position (he could probably handle Third, though the Phillies have a few other options there). His speed is tough to get a read on, but it seems to grade out as average to above-average, at best, in every report, so Center could be a stretch. That pretty much leaves Catcher and Second as his best options (for the Phillies; a team without a top Shortstop prospect might be more inclined to leave him on Short). Defensive videos are tough to track down (prospect-niks dig the long ball), so instead enjoy this humorous Canseco-like Defensive play from last year's SEC Playoffs.

Here's a rather interesting take on his D, I stumbled upon. Video from Touch em all ball. It gives a nice breakdown on a specific play and footwork.

It will be interesting to see how Bregman does in 2014 in terms of improving on his few flaws, but at pick 10 you could do a whole lot worse. I see Bregman as a solid MLB regular to pair with Crawford for years to come. I'd be pretty excited if the Phillies got him.