“They always tell me that,” Gurriel said. “But God’s time is perfect. The things happen for a reason. I would’ve loved to have come in the best period of my career, from, like, 22, 23 to 27, 28 years old. But most importantly, I came here at 32 years old, and look at the blessings I’ve had. Four World Series in six years.”
Gurriel’s average plummeted from an A.L.-leading .319 last year to .242 in 2022, but his teammates say he hasn’t acted like it.
“Yuli has been able to turn the page from a season I know he would like to have had back but was able to turn it on when we need him in playoffs,” Verlander said. “Jose, everybody knows what he’s capable of and is just waiting for him to bust out. Bregman, obviously, he’s definitely one of the heart and souls of this team.”
Not only are Bregman and his wife, Reagan, new parents to their son, Knox (born in August), but he also has improved his diet with the help of a private chef. He called that a “game changer” and added: “My mom’s happy because this is the first year I’ve ever eaten seafood in my life. I never ate fish. I ate cheeseburgers, pizza and that’s about it.”
That, too, serves as a good example for the younger Astros.
“I think our organization has done an unbelievable job of player development starting the first day guys get into the system,” Bregman said. “They identify areas of strength, areas of weakness, and not only do they identify them, but they teach players how to improve where they need to improve and teach players how to make their strengths even better.”
And as they do, Bregman, Altuve and Gurriel are there at the top to reinforce those lessons. And, to win some more.
James Wagner contributed reporting.
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