Growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Houston Astros third baseman heard the same criticism over and over throughout his adolescent years.
“He is very talented and works hard, but he lacks the size to become a true major league baseball player,” many critics would say.
All Bregman did was prove them wrong. After his sophomore season at Albuquerque Academy, he was named the USA Baseball Player of the Year. At LSU, his accolades included National Freshman of the Year (2013), the Brooks Wallace Award for the best shortstop in college baseball, and he was selected twice to the All-American team.
Those accomplishments, along with his extremely tough work ethic, were noticed by the Houston Astros, and they used the second overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft to select Bregman, and the rest is history. He has been an intricate piece in helping the Astros win two World Series championships.
So, the 5-foot-9-inch Bregman has proved the naysayers wrong about him being too small to play professionally.
On Saturday, during his post-game press conference, he sent a message to Houston Texans rookie wide receiver Tank Dell, who has battled the same height criticism he had to endure growing up.
“I think he is going to be a superstar,” Bregman said about Dell after helping the Astros defeat the Los Angeles Angels by hitting his fifth career grand slam in the bottom of the fourth inning.
If his mother Porsche had been able to carve out the career path for her son, Dell could have eventually become teammates with Bregman on the Astros.
“I was actually trying to get him into baseball around six or seven years old. He was good at that, but would look at me like, ‘What’s the point of this?’” said Porsche Dell in an interview in April 2023.
“I think he is going to be a superstar,” said Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman about Houston Texans rookie WR Tank Dell. #Texans #Astros #Sarge @Tankdell4 @TheTexansWire @ABREG_1 pic.twitter.com/qD1rsfknfs
— #SARGE (@BigSargeSportz) June 4, 2023
Dell was selected with the 69th pick in the third round of the 2023 NFL by the Texans. He is currently in his third week of voluntary OTAs and has impressed his coaches with his work ethic both on and off the field.
“I don’t think anyone has noticed how big of a leap it is because he’s been on it, and he’s been working,” said Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik about Dell. “He’s taking what we’re telling him as far as coaching, as far as what we see in the fundamentals of route running. He’s a pretty natural separator, but to also apply, okay, how does this fit within the offense when I know the quarterback has to look at me at this time, and there’s a lot that goes into that for him. It’s been hitting the ground running for him.”
The Daytona Beach, Florida native was mesmerizing during his three years on the field for the University of Houston. He led the nation in receiving yards and touchdowns in his final season.
“Every time I step on the field, I feel like I with two chips on both shoulders,” Dell said during the 2023 NFL combine. “Every time I step on the field, I feel like I have a point to prove.”