Cover Photo: Getty Images

Pitchers and catchers have finally reported, meaning that baseball is officially back. 

The Houston Astros, fresh off of two consecutive 100-win seasons, two ALCS appearances and a World Series Championship in 2017, appear to be flying under the radar heading into the 2019 season. 

Similarly, Houston's third-baseman, Alex Bregman, who is coming off of a career year, is falling in early fantasy drafts. 

Bregman's stock is lower than his ADP (14th on ESPN and NFBC) because there is some concern over the health of his right elbow. Bregman underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips from his throwing elbow but is expected to be back in action at spring training on March 1. 

Evidently, drafters are hesitant to use an early draft pick on Bregman despite his impressive stat line from last season. But should they be?

Considering Bregman is only turning 25 in March and is coming off of a season that saw him improve in nearly every statistical category, next season could be his true breakout year. Let's take a look at Bregman's progression from 2017 to 2018.

Bregman (2017): 155 games, .284 AVG, .352 OBP, .475 SLG, .827 OPS, 19 home runs, 71 RBI, 88 runs, 17 SB, 39 2B 

Bregman (2018): 157 games, .286 AVG, .394 OBP, .532 SLG, .926 OPS, 31 home runs, 103 RBI, 105 runs, 10 SB, 51 2B 

Last year, Bregman was the most consistent player on a Houston team that was decimated by injuries, yet still managed to win 103 games. This year Houston should have Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Jose Altuve back fully healthy again, which should offer Bregman added protection in the lineup. 

It is a risk for fantasy players to draft a position player that is coming off of a surgery, but Bregman plays with the kind of edge you don't want to bet against. Unless there are any new changes to his health, you definitely want to keep an eye out for Bregman on the draft board, especially if he starts to slide.