Bandits' Bregman blasts first pro homer

Astros top pick staying focused as Minor League career gets started

Alex Bregman signed with the Astros on Thursday, six days after completing his LSU career. (Becky Evans/Cedar Rapids Kernels)

By Alex Kraft / MiLB.com | June 28, 2015 6:10 PM

Alex Bregman checked another off his list of Minor League firsts on Sunday afternoon.

The second overall pick in this year's Draft cracked his first professional homer in the third inning and scored twice as Class A Quad Cities beat Cedar Rapids, 6-1, at Perfect Game Field.

The homer came in the 12th at-bat of Bregman's Minor League career.

"It felt great to get that first home run under my belt," he said. "I saw three cutters in a row and then I got a fastball up in the zone that I was on time to hit it to left. I was just happy I could help the team get a win"

The 21-year-old shortstop signed with the Astros on Thursday and made his Minor League debut the following day in the second game of a four-game series with the Kernels, going 1-for-5 with a single.

Less than two weeks removed from his last game as a college player, the LSU product said he hasn't been intimidated by professional competition.

"It's just great to be playing baseball every day," Bregman said. "[College] is very comparable to these guys I'm facing now in how they locate their fastballs and how they have two great pitches. In that way, it's very similar to the [Southeastern Conference], so I haven't seen too many differences between this and college."

The shortstop wrapped up his college career when the Tigers were eliminated from the College World Series on June 19. He batted .323 with nine homers, 22 doubles and 38 stolen bases as a junior.

Although the Astros recently called up 20-year-old shortstop and top prospect Carlos Correa, the team plans to keep Bregman at shortstop. The Albuquerque native said he doesn't let his Draft position or the possibility of competing with Correa create any undue pressure.

"I'm just trying to work hard and get better every day," Bregman said. "That's really my primary focus. I'm not really focused on the Draft anymore now, just on competing every day and doing my best to help the team and keep improving.

"[Correa] is a real good player and I enjoy watching him play, but personally, I'm just more focused on myself working hard and getting better as a baseball player. I'm not really looking that far into the future. I'm looking forward to gaining knowledge about how to be a pro and act like a pro, learning from the coaches and teammates I have and just getting better as a player every day."

Bregman is 3-for-15 (.200) with a homer, double and two RBIs in three games with the River Bandits.

Jason Martin went 3-for-4 and fell a homer shy of the cycle for Quad Cities, which got three hits and an RBI from leadoff man Jamie Ritchie.

Christian Powell (1-0) allowed one run on four hits over five innings with a walk and three strikeouts for Quad Cities.

Kernels' starter Zach Tillery (4-3) gave up seven hits and three runs over four innings. He walked two batters and fanned five.   

Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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