Bregman on pace to join Fontenot and Walker

LSU has produced two position players that were awarded the prestigious Freshman of the Year award in their first seasons on campus. Current freshman Alex Bregman is well on his way to joining Todd Walker and Mike Fontenot as the only position players to win the award for LSU.

Throughout the history of LSU Baseball, there have been four players that have claimed the prestigious NCAA Freshman of the Year award. Two pitchers, Brett Laxton and Lane Mestepey, claimed the award their first seasons in Baton Rouge. Todd Walker and Mike Fontenot are the only two position players to win the award for LSU. They both did it in 1992 and 200, respectively.

Flash forward to 2013 and LSU has another candidate for the award on their roster. Alex Bregman, a freshman from Albuquerque, Nm., is on pace to have just as good of a season as the previous two position players that claimed the award for the Bayou Bengals. Below is a breakdown of the offensive statistics for Walker and Fontenot during their freshman seasons. The statistics for Bregman reflect what he has done up to this point in 2013.

Todd Walker (1992)

At-bats: 250
Hits: 100
Batting average: .400
Doubles: 21
Triples: 3
Homeruns: 12
RBI: 76
Runs scored: 72
Stolen bases: 18

Mike Fontenot (2000)

At-bats: 292
Hits: 103
Batting average: .353
Doubles: 13
Triples: 3
Homeruns: 17
RBI: 64
Runs scored: 93
Stolen bases: 8

Alex Bregman (Through 29 games in 2013)

At-bats: 125
Hits: 55
Batting average: .440
Doubles: 9
Triples: 3
Homeruns: 3
RBI: 24
Runs scored: 35
Stolen bases: 9

The stats may seem pretty different in terms of power numbers, but one must take into account that college baseball is a different game in 2013 than it was in either 1992 or 2000. Bat regulations have drastically altered the power numbers that wree typically seen on college diamonds. In terms of the season Bregman is having, it is right up there with those of Fontenot and Walker. That's pretty prestigious when you look at the careers that those two went on to have in college and professional baseball. He is on pace to match both previous award winners in the hits category, and exceed the batting averages of both.

It was known before Bregman ever stepped foot on campus that he would be a significant contributor for the Tigers this season. However, not many expected to see what they have out of the talented freshman so far in 2013.

Paul Mainieri explained that Bregman wouldn't even be in college right now if he had committed to sign with the team that drafted him.

"Alex Bregman could really be playing in the minors right now," said Mainieri. "If he had committed to signing with a team, he would have been a second round pick, but he really wanted to come to LSU."

Instead, Bregman was drafted in the 29th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Boston Red Sox.

Another aspect that makes Bregman a big candidate to claim the award at season's end is how much he means to the production of the LSU team. Bregman has been heavily relied upon since day one, taking over the starting shortstop position for the departed Austin Nola, and hitting three-hole in a lineup that features Raph Rhymes and Mason Katz. He has responded better than any fan could have anticipated by stepping right in like he was a senior on a very young team.

The bottom line is that if Bregman maintains his production from the first half of 2013, it will be hard not to peg him as a favorite to win the award, especially given the elite class that he can be grouped with from LSU.

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