Winning a gold medal for your country is a dream for many amateur athletes.
It’s a feat that involves unreal dedication and perseverance as you compete against the best athletes around the globe. That’s why it’s both an honor and rare to even take home one gold.
Albuquerque Academy (Albuquerque, N.M.) senior baseball star Alex Bregman just happened to earn two before he turned 18.
This past fall, Bregman led the USA Baseball 18U National Team to a gold medal at the 2011 IBAF World 'AA'/16U Youth Championships a year after guiding the 16U National Team to gold.
“Playing for Team USA is the biggest honor of my life,” said Bregman. “To be able to win two gold medals for my country is something I could have never dreamed of, and I hope to be able to play on future national teams as well. It’s just an incredible thing to be a part of.”
With his talent, Bregman shouldn’t have any problem playing for future national teams. The right-handed hitter has one of the best swings in the country and is a standout shortstop and catcher — he’s rated the nation’s No. 3 backstop prospect in the Class of 2012 by ESPNHS.
It’s the bat that’s gotten the 6-foot, 180-pounder the most attention, though, and it was on full display last summer at the Area Code Baseball Games, where he was selected to the All-Area Code team.
“It was a great experience,” Bregman said. “To be able to compete against the very best players in the nation was great, but it also gave me a chance to see how the best high school players prepare themselves. It’s something that I think I can take into my high school season. Plus, I got a chance to work with my future roommate in college, Joey Gallo.
That college is LSU, and while Bregman sounded excited about trying to win a state championship, he was even more excited about talking about being a future Bayou Bengal.
“It’s my dream school,” Bregman gushed. “I grew up watching the College World Series, and seeing them in that tournament, I knew I wanted to be a Tiger. I respect the work of coach Mainieri and coach Sanchez and all of those guys so much.”
One thing that could possibly get in the way of the dream school is the MLB draft. While Bregman says he’s just concentrating on his senior campaign and then attending LSU, a big senior year could propel him into early pick category.
“We like him quite a bit,” said a National League Central advisor. “He’s got the ability to do a little bit of everything. He can run, he can hit, and he works his you-know-what off on the field. The concern right now is what position he would play. Right know we think of him as more of a second baseman than a shortstop or catcher, but the bat plays better at those positions. He’s a name that we will be following, though, to be certain.”
Fans of high school baseball should do the same.
Christopher Crawford is a frequent contributor to ESPNHS. He’s also the executive editor of MLBDraftInsider.com and senior writer for ProspectInsider.com. Follow him on twitter @CrawfordChrisV