Houston has agreed to terms with LSU shortstop and No. 2 overall draft pick Alex Bregman, according to Mark Berman of MyFOXHouston.com.
Last year the Astros failed to sign No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken, so they received the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft as compensation and selected Bregman. In three years at LSU he hit a combined .334 with 21 homers, 65 steals, more walks than strikeouts, and a .921 OPS in 166 games.
Baseball America rated Bregman as the fourth-best prospect in the draft class, calling him “one of the safest picks” because “scouts are nearly unanimous that he should at the worst be a productive big league middle infielder.”
Obviously the Astros are betting on him being an impact player, but either way he should move through the farm system quickly and could be in Houston at some point next season. Where he’ll play is less certain, because the Astros have their long-term double-play duo in All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve and stud shortstop prospect Carlos Correa.
The recommended slot value for the No. 2 pick is $7.4 million.
Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.
Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”
Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.
The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.