Alex Bregman, baseball’s best sixth-best player

The Astros’ blossoming third baseman was born into the game, with ties that extend back to the Splendid Splinter himself. His grandfather, Stanley, worked as the attorney for the Washington Senators when Ted Williams was managing the team. china nike nfl jerseys cheap Bregman’s father, Sam, also an attorney, grew up around the Senators and later played baseball at New Mexico, where he remained to raise a family in Albuquerque. He also has done work as a player agent.

“My dad grew up on Ted Williams’ lap, when he was with the Senators,” Bregman said, adding that his grandfather helped arrange the franchise’s relocation to Texas, where it has played as the Rangers since 1972.72

The Land of Enchantment has not historically been a hotbed for big league ballplayers, but Alex’s amateur record reads as if he were following a magically idealized map to the majors. Bregman served as a bat boy for his father’s alma mater. He won USA Baseball’s national player of the year award as a high school sophomore. He was an All-American at LSU. He was the second pick by Houston in the 2015 amateur draft. He won numerous awards during a minor league career that lasted less than two seasons.

Bregman’s path has been as enchanted as the lands of his home state. It landed him in the big leagues at 22. It made him a World Series champion at 23. It’s a good thing, too, because baseball was the only job Bregman ever considered worthy to pursue.

“This is it,” Bregman said between spits of tobacco juice into a plastic cup. He’s fresh off another long round of clubhouse cards, the Astros’ never-ending card game that plays on and on from city to city, from spring to fall. “Since I’ve been about 5 years old, all I wanted to do was play baseball.”

He’s already fourth on the career homer list among players born in New Mexico, nfl cheap jerseys nike which perhaps says as much about New Mexico as it does Bregman, with his 28 career dingers. He can name one of the three ahead of him: recently retired slugger Cody Ross. The first two played long before Bregman’s time: Ralph Kiner and Vern Stephens. Bregman’s grandfather surely knew who they were.

Bregman has his best days in front of him. He’s a career .276/.347/.461 hitter with slightly below average runs saved totals so far in the majors. He has a flair for the dramatic, as exemplified by his 10th-inning single that won the epic Game 5 of last year’s World Series.