Former LSU baseball star Alex Bregman is at the center of one of the biggest scandals in baseball history.
Arguably the biggest story in sports right now is the Houston Astros’ sign stealing scandal — which directly involves former LSU baseball star Alex Bregman.
In November, The Athletic reported that Houston stole signs electronically in 2017.
This week, after a lengthy investigation, MLB handed down some penalties related to the sign stealing. Astros manager AJ Hinch was suspended for a year (and subsequently fired). Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (who hasn’t faced discipline yet from MLB due to their investigation of the 2018 Red Sox) and New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran were also fired (or “mutually parted ways”) because of the cheating scandal.
Cora was the Astros’ bench coach in 2017, while Beltran was a DH/OF for Houston.
Beltran’s statement on Thursday, after parting ways with the Mets, seemed to confirm some sort of wrongdoing — at least on his part.
Statement from Carlos Beltran: pic.twitter.com/3YUMdlpagY
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 16, 2020
With the scandal back in the news this week, it got me wondering how much Bregman actually benefited from the scheme (which involved players/personnel using a live video feed to steal signs and signal them to batters via banging on trashcans when Houston was playing at home).
I looked at home/away splits for the 2017-2019 seasons (the 2017 season is the only season where it’s been confirmed the Astros used the scheme).
Here’s what I found.
In 2017, Bregman actually hit better on the road (.290) than he did at home (.278). Bregman hit 10 home runs in 79 games on the road, while hitting nine home runs in 76 games at home. His OPS was .863 on the road in 2017 and .787 at home.
It’s pretty clear that in the season where the Astros were confirmed to be stealing signs at home, that Bregman actually hit better on the road.
So how about 2018?
Well, in 2018 Bregman was definitely better at home. He hit .299 at home with 16 home runs and a .969 OPS. The former LSU standout hit .273 with 15 home runs and a .884 OPS on the road.
2019 was Bregman’s best season yet as a pro. He was the runner up for the AL MVP and hit a career high 41 home runs.
But he was absolutely a better hitter away from Houston.
In 76 games on the road, Bregman hit .315 with 25 homers and a 1.109 OPS. In 80 games at home, Bregman hit .278 with 16 homers and a .923 OPS.
I have no idea how involved Bregman was with the sign stealing scandal. No one has reported any facts on what Bregman did or didn’t do.
But numbers don’t lie. And it seems pretty clear to me that Bregman has been a consistent player on the road and at home over the last three years (in fact, he’s been a bit better, overall, on the road).
I’ll never condone cheating and this scandal is horrible for baseball.
However, I don’t feel like anyone can definitively say that Alex Bregman benefited from any of this.