This is the weekly Fantasy Roundtable, where the writers of Rotoworld Baseball let the readers of Rotoworld Baseball in on a quick staff discussion. It's water cooler talk ... that we've decided to publish. Look for it every Tuesday.
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Drew Silva: One of the top prospects in baseball arrived in the majors on Monday, so that's going to have to be the topic this week. What do you guys think about Houston's Alex Bregman? What kind of impact can he have down the stretch and what are we looking at with him long term? Bregman's debut didn't go so well on paper -- the 22-year-old finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Monday night against the Yankees -- but he came a few feet short of a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning and he made some excellent defensive plays at third base.
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D.J. Short: When talking about Bregman for the long-term, it’s important to think about where he’ll fit in the Astros' lineup. He made his major league debut at third base on Monday, but chances are he’ll see some time in left field once Yulieski Gurriel is ready for the majors. As for 2017 and beyond, it will be interesting to see if the Astros consider moving Carlos Correa to third base and moving Bregman back to his natural position at shortstop. I don’t expect any changes right now, but it’s probably a discussion for the offseason.
Bregman was considered one of the most polished bats in last year’s draft class, but the surprising power has improved his stock from a fantasy perspective. In addition to hitting .306 with a .406 on-base percentage between Double-A and Triple-A this year, he had 20 homers in 80 games. Suddenly he looks like a five-category stud. Bregman is shortstop-eligible in most formats right now, but he’ll stand out more among third basemen and outfielders if he can keep the power going in the majors.
David Shovein: I think that Bregman is going to be an impact addition in all mixed leagues for the remainder of the season. Many elite-level prospects that get the call to the big leagues struggle in their first go-round, specifically those with high strikeout rates that get exposed by major league pitching. That shouldn't be the case with Bregman who possesses elite contact tools, owing a minuscule 10 percent strikeout rate in the minor leagues. His flexibility and ability to play multiple positions should ensure that he's in the Astros lineup on a nightly basis, even after Yulieski Gurriel joins the club to play third base. He may not wow you in any particular category, but he'll contribute in power and speed while providing ample counting stats in a stacked Astros lineup while adding a solid batting average. It's not crazy to expect seven homers and seven steals from here on out, which could be a nice jolt to any fantasy team from the middle infield spot.
Jesse Pantuosco: I’m really intrigued by Bregman’s sudden power because it wasn’t a big part of his makeup when he arrived in the minor leagues. The average was always there—Bregman hit .337 over his three seasons at LSU. But he wasn’t a big home run threat and only went deep four times in 272 at-bats last year between Low-A Quad Cities and High-A Lancaster. This year he’s turned the corner with 20 round-trippers while still providing his usual great contact numbers and the occasional stolen base.
The fact that he’s walked more times than he’s struck out this year shows you how polished Bregman already is at the plate and I think he’s only scratched the surface as a base stealer. Remember this is a guy who swiped 38 bags in his junior year of college. If he puts it all together, Bregman could be a legitimate 30/30 threat some day or at least 20/20.
D.J. and Dave both alluded to it already but I think fantasy owners are going to love Bregman because of his positional flexibility. He’s shortstop eligible right now and it won’t take long for him to gain eligibility at third base and outfield as well. Think of him as the Astros’ version of Kris Bryant. Colby Rasmus and Carlos Gomez are both headed for free agency after this year, so Bregman could land a starting outfield gig as soon as next season. I really love what Bregman brings to the table and I think he’ll be in the lineup most days because of his ability to play all over the diamond.
Ryan Boyer: I think the guys have pretty much covered all the bases (no pun intended) here. One thing I will add is that anyone worried about Bregman's playing time with Gurriel due to arrive eventually, I don't think they need to sweat it. Gurriel doesn't have a work visa yet, and once he gets one he's going to need a few weeks in the minors to knock off the rust. We've already mentioned Bregman's versatility, and one thing worth noting is that left fielder Colby Rasmus is 2-for-39 at the dish so far in July to knock his season line down to an unappealing .226/.304/.372. There are also some at-bats available in the designated hitter spot. Bregman is going to play as long as he hits, and I think he's going to hit.