Top Astros prospect Alex Bregman made his first professional start in left field on Wednesday night for Class AAA Fresno, the latest sign his promotion to the major leagues nears.

Increased defensive versatility will create avenues for the Astros to keep Bregman’s potent bat in the lineup regularly when he joins the team, especially once newly signed Cuban infielder Yulieski Gurriel is also added to the fold. A natural shortstop who also has played 12 games at third base this season, Bregman began taking fly balls in left field on Monday.

The Astros have not publicly committed to a timetable for Bregman’s call-up, but it could come as soon as Friday. The Fresno affiliate closes a four-game series at Round Rock on Thursday, a night before the Astros open a six-game stand at Minute Maid Park.

The scenario of a Friday promotion would give Bregman two games with Fresno to begin his acclimation to left field, a process he could continue in the major leagues under the instruction of Astros third-base coach Gary Pettis, who in his days as a center fielder won five Gold Glove Awards. Bregman made his first Class AAA start at third base on Tuesday.