Is This “THE” Year for George Springer?


It seems weird to look at a player as accomplished as George Springer and wonder when or if he would ever get it all together.

He has been a good player ever since the Astros finally let him on the roster back in 2014, but…. he has never been the all-year, great player they thought he could be.

His best stats in any year to date? .283 BA (2017), .367 OBP (2015 & 2017), .889 OPS (2017), 34 HR (2017) and 85 RBIs (2017). These are all good numbers. In fact, the HR and RBI numbers are very strong for a guy who has led off almost exclusively the last few seasons. But they are not great numbers, the kind of numbers everyone was hoping they would see out of Springer.

The fans were hoping for a lot out of Springer ever since he was a first-round draft pick out of the University of Connecticut. While the fans were gagging through a totally putrid 51-111 season with the big club in 2013, they wondered when oh when they would get to see the kid who was tearing things up at AA and AAA (.303 BA/.411 OBP/ 1.010 OPS/ 37 HRs/ 108 RBIs/ 45 SBs). The answer was a couple weeks into the next season as the Astros held his career clock hostage.

As a rookie he showed the inconsistency that would plague him throughout his career as he stunk things up in April (.182 BA/.480 OPS) and July (.160 BA/.680 OPS), while compiling a May to remember (.294 BA/1.032 OPS/ 22 runs/ 10 HRs/ 25 RBIs) where he seemed to be in the middle of every big play and win the team produced in a 92 loss year. But heck he was a rookie, rookies are inconsistent. Of course, he also got hurt in the middle of July and missed the rest of the season.

In 2015 he repeated the pattern, was below average through May, went ballistic in June, got hurt, missed July and August and came back with a strong September. 2016 was a pretty consistent year for Springer as he never batted above .300 in any month, but also never batted below .200 and he stayed healthy for the whole season.

George played in 140 games in both 2017 and 2018 with very different results. 2017 was his very best season as can be seen up above and he finished 13th in the MVP race. And along the same lines of inconsistency, during the 2017 playoffs, Springer played so bad that fans were wanting him dropped lower or out of the lineup and then….he went nuts in the World Series and took home the MVP.

In 2018 along with missing time he tried to play through an injured thumb and his stats were down across the board – .283 down to .264 BA/ .367 to .346 OBP / .889 to .780 OPS / 37 to 22 HRs / 85 to 71 RBIs.

Coming into 2019, people were overlooking Springer a little bit. Jose Altuve was a full season MVP in 2017. Alex Bregman was the overwhelming team MVP in 2018. Carlos Correa was the super talented SS, who hopefully would return to dominance with a healed back. George Springer was a good and sometimes very good ball player, who struggled to be excellent for more than spurts. He was also the heart of the club, but also  the guy who the fans thought might never be an MVP for more than a playoff series.

So, here we are 6 weeks into the baseball series and where is George Springer? Springer is the leadoff hitter for what is becoming the most lethal lineup in baseball and showing the stats that everyone thought he might flash when he was brought up.

Through Sunday’s games, George was leading the AL with 35 runs scored, 51 hits, 15 HRs, 37 RBIs, 105 total bases, .660 SLG and 1.060 OPS. He’s a mere 7th in batting at .321 BA and 5th in OBP at .400. He has 5 HRs leading off the game and has been great at both starting rallies and cleaning up an end of the lineup that always seems to be on base for him.

Is he going to score 138 runs, hit 59 HRs and knock in 146 runs (which was his pace as of Sunday) for the season? Probably not. But this might be the season George scores 120, hits 40+ HRs and knocks in 125 runs. And that might make Springer more than the World Series MVP.

97 comments on “Is This “THE” Year for George Springer?

  1. What will Springer cost after this year so we can retain him? Only one more year of arbitration left. To keep this team together it’s going to get pricey but if they win, who cares? I guess a lot of it depends on how bad George and others want to stay here. I’m sure lovin’ it right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this team, as constructed, might have 4-6 MVP in the AL candidates. Springer is certainly one. And last night, the bottom three were the MVPs. As said above “I’m sure lovin’ it”

    Like

  3. Earlier in the Spring we had our annual discussion about moving George out of the leadoff slot. For now, let’s let him carry on! But we do need to expect one of his significant slumps at some point. He has one every year. I just hope he stays healthy. It’s looking like 2017 might not have been his career year. And the guy is so much fun to watch. How can you not have a good time playing the game when everything is so well aligned?

    OP, on a separate note, Tyler White is indeed a mess. Striking out more than a third of the time he comes to the plate. And I don’t think he’s lost any weight either. As the least athletic guy on our club, he’ll get the pink slip sooner than later. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to accepting his demise. I just hope that when the time comes, he’ll have a discussion with himself and figures out how much he wants to be a Major League Baseball player.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The sad part is a guy with a lot of potential not taking the next step to make oneself better. I like I’m sure all here hope he gets his act together and does well. Not the question is when and who will replace him. As mentioned earlier we will probably keep 13 pitchers when Altuve returns so he will more than likely be the odd man out.

      Like

  4. One has only to look at how teams are defensing Springer and Altuve to get a sense of two disparate seasons. The guy leading the AL in all the power stats is NOT being shifted while the guy who should be leading the league in hits and BA is being shifted and continues to hit into the shift for outs. Springer’s RBI single up the middle late in the game last night would have been a tough luck out for Altuve.
    What may make this season extra special and sustainable for George is the presence and influence of Michael Brantley. We may not see that two week period where George seems to disappear. Uncle Mike’s acquisition has made our outfield the best in MLB with guys like Alvarez and Tucker waiting in the wings. Gone are the days of bandaiding LF with Marwin. Firm up the pitching a little bit and I honestly think the 103 win mark from last year could be in danger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you look at the spray charts, Springer is hitting the ball all over the diamond. His groundballs do go to the left side more often than the right, but not overwhelmingly so. Altuve, on the other hand managed to hit the ball on the ground only four times in 2018 to the left of the second baseman’s normal fielding position. I’d shift on him until he started showing an inclination to go that way.

      Like

    • Mr Chip picks out the picture to be placed with these posts and I’m guessing he had taken the original 2017 cover and modified it for some post back in 2018 and just grabbed that modified one for today’s blog without noticing the 2018 date

      Liked by 1 person

  5. * As I was reading the great article above about Springer and then the comments below it, I remembered about Springer making a concerted effort to get himself in better shape by working harder during the offseason. Then I thought about Tyler White in that same context.
    * If the Astros had not held Springer’s career hostage, this would be his walk year. I screamed the loudest for the Astros to sacrifice 2020 for April of 2014. I contribute that stupidity to the cravings of a man who was starved for a championship for more than a half-century. I was not the only guy who was lost at sea in that rowboat.
    * If George continues with his MVP type season, his final season of arbitration will be in the $26 million range.
    * There is the addition of Brantley that is being discussed as one of the reasons for George’s success, but there is also the new batting coaches to consider, as well. Luhnow needs to find a way to keep Snitker from being pirated at the end of the year.

    Like

  6. I hope it’s Springer’s big year as I now consider him probably the full-fledged spark plug. ‘Tuve has been my main man, but I fear for his physical situation, although I hate to even put it in words. I know the team is good and can only hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Per Fangraphs, Tyler Ivey’s suspension occurred following an incident where he was ejected from a game for having a foreign substance on his glove.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Let’s see how things look after Monday’s games:

    Stat Springer Next Guy
    Runs 1st – 36 Mitch Haniger – 34 runs
    Hits 1st – 53 Tied w/ Brantley – 53
    HRs 1st – 15 Bregman – 13
    RBIs 1st – 38 Domingo Santana – 37
    Total Bases 1st – 107 Brantley & Jorge Polanco – 93
    BA 6th – .323
    OBP 5th – .400
    SLG 1st – .652 Hunter Dozier – .621
    OPS 1st – 1.052 Mike Trout – 1.040

    Like

  9. When Drew Ferguson hit his grand slam in the bottom of the 4th today, Round Rock led 5-0. That’s when Rodgers, Armenteros, Garza and McCurry proceded to allow 15 runs in the next 3 innings. Round Rock becomes an avalanche.

    Like

    • Jeff Luhnow – “Note to self – when MadBum shows up on the trade list near the deadline as he undoubtedly will – re-open this picture and hide your prospects….”

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The smartest money Jim Crane has given this team was two more years of Justin Verlander, and getting Brantley. George and Michael Brantley have become VERY good friends on and off the field. Their lockers are together, and I believe Brantley has had a LOT to do with Springer’s consistency. They are trying to one up on the other and they are having a ball doing it. This team is scary good, and I’m just blessed to watch them play. Luhnow was in Round Rock last night, and I assume he was there to watch the kid who’s hitting homeruns nearly everytime he gets in the batters box.
    Tyler White is charge of his own destiny……baseball will walk away from him. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I know this is gonna sound cray-cray but I think Luhnow should trade Reddick. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Yordan Alvarez is the real deal as he leapfrogs both Fisher and Tucker on the AAA OF depth chart. Trading Reddick for value, while his stock is premium, is infinitely better than DFA’ing White or Kemp. Pretty soon, there will be odd men out, but I don’t foresee Kemp or Marisnick going anywhere.

    PS — the worn-out Ric Flair “woooos” have nothing to do with this opinion…

    Like

    • I like Reddick’s defense too much. Sure his stock is at a premium but we can’t assume Alvarez comes in and hits and we know Alvarez is going to be a liability if we put him in the outfield. We might have the best OF in the game right now. Why screw with it?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dave, agree with you. It ain’t broke…don’t try to fix it. The young guys will get their chance in September. I want to see them too but I like the way things are going

        Liked by 1 person

    • Look at it this way: even if White is given the pink slip, there’s a tough decision brewing at OF in 2019. Either Fisher or Tucker or Marisnick or Kemp or Reddick has to go. Meaning released or traded — off the roster. Finito.

      When you talk about defense and clubhouse X-factor, Marisnick and Kemp are known quantities. And they are luxuries esp. if Reddick remains on the roster. Again, something has to give.

      That said, I think Reddick would be missed, but not considering our depth at OF. And hey, what if White gets released and Jordan Alvarez becomes our DH masher?

      Like

      • This offense is in fuego – Springer with 4 ABs in 5 innings. Two hits including an inside the park homer, a walk and a lineout.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, he complained that his leash wasn’t long enough, relieved Corbin Martin and gave up 2 runs first … before he came back strong. As it were, the Astros left him in for 5 starts too many. After 2016, he was always a better reliever long-term, given this team’s pitching construction and depth. I wrote a long comment last Fall that this would happen inevitably if we left him in as the starter. I said he would never last as the #3, and his stuff works better when opposition doesn’t see him as much.

        When we dispense with this futile American League, and face the Dodgers for the 2019 World Series, I’ll come back for a cameo of “cake walk.”

        Adieu

        Like

  12. Another night, another double digit score. Pinch me to see if I’m dreaming. Time to part ways with the “Tuna”. He’s 0 for 3 with 2 k’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Four things about this game:
    1. Tyler White *should* be given his pink slip when the team gets back from Boston.
    2. Luhnow HAS to get a lefty in the bullpen he can count on…Valdez ain’t it.
    3. Collin McHugh is an enigma.
    4. This team is un……believable!

    Like

  14. -The home plate ump was terribly inconsistent tonight. He never figured out the opposite side of the plate. He set up on the catcher’s left shoulder and guessed all night on the right side of the catcher.
    – The messup by Springer and Reddick cost Miley his streak. You could blame it on the homer, but homers happen. What happened on that triple should never happen.
    – I had a great feeling before tonight’s game. Detroit pitching another lefty against a team whose RH batters are crushing the ball was interesting and I liked Miley getting ground balls on a big field. The team did not disappoint.
    – Angels lost.
    -Rangers lost.
    – A’s and Mariners still battlin’.
    – Sale strikes out 17 batters in 7 innings, but gets pulled and Boston’s bullpen blows the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. -Apparently, Jeff Luhnow was back at Dell Diamond Tuesday to watch Round Rock get a lead and then lose it in a big way. Yordan Alvarez was playing 1B and Myles Straw was playing SS. Alvarez had a single and two doubles. Kyle Tucker had another HR, his 11th.
    -My son in law came over to eat dinner while we were watching the game. He is not a baseball fan at all. It’s either NASCAR or nothing for him. When Tyler White came up to the plate, SIL asked “what’s that guy doing in there?”, referring to White’s body situation. White proceeded to K and all I could say was that Tyler loved donuts more than baseball.
    -Carlos Correa definitely had something to say to Framber Valdez after turning a spectacular double play to get Valdez out of trouble to end Tuesday’s game. As Carlos got to his feet you could see him mouthing at Valdez about walking the first two batters with an 11-4 lead and Carlos was letting him know about it.
    – Astros team OPS is .868. The second place OPS belongs to the Twins, at .823. Get this, the MLB average team OPS is .736.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lot’s of good stuff op. Oh and the team with the best record in the majors is…. the 28-15 Houston Astros, who after stumbling out of the block at 2-5 – have gone 26-10.
      It is amazing how good our offense is considering our main DH still does not have a HR and only 3 RBIs and our All Star 2B was hitting so poorly before going down with the injury.
      Those OPS numbers are insanely good.

      Like

    • I saw the Correa “comment” also. Would be interesting to see what ensued afterwards. It looked like Valdez was trying to hit the corners of the plate but kept missing. No harm, no foul but definitely a tense moment. I suspect CC was a little PO’d about the walks and then throwing a juicy pitch over the middle.

      Liked by 3 people

  16. Detroit has recalled LHP Gregory Soto from AA ball to start against Houston. Soto made his debut against Minnesota last week and had some problems. He is their #26 prospect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Detroit is in a pitching world of hurt. I think you pointed out that they had put 4 of their 5 starters on the IL. They played a doubleheader the Saturday before we showed up. Then they get their starters knocked out after 4 innings two games in a row against the Astros. I will feel sorry for them – after tonight’s game.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Was going to post that too, Dan, but these peeps here in the office think I’m here to do work. The warmth of many of the personalities on this team is undeniable. Most smiles are good-natured and open, not arrogant. I pray for healing of injuries and protection against new ones. If we can stay healthy and get at least one key addition, think we can do it. And I’m not one to talk smack.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. The daily Springer update:
    – #1 in the AL in runs scored – 39 (Haniger next with 35)
    – Tied for #1 in hits (55 with Brantley)
    – #1 in HRs – 16 (Bregman and Rosario next with 13)
    – #1 in RBIs – 39 (Santana next with 37)
    – #1 in Total Bases – 112 (Brantley next with 96)
    – #4 in BA with .329
    – #3 in OBP with .410
    – #1 in SLG – .671 (Gallo next with .628)
    – #1 in OPS – 1.081 (Dozier next with 1.033)

    Just great numbers across the board

    Like

  18. I had *the* test everyone hates to have this morning…the dreaded
    Colonoscopy. I love my doctor he’s a really good guy…..just not this test!
    We always talk baseball, and especially the Astros. Before the nurse put me to sleep, I told him he needed to get a mini season ticket, so he would get first dibs on playoff games. He just texted me and said he bought it!!
    The Runner sports wondered if Luhnow was in Round Rock to get another look at Yordan Alvarez…..or watch the Express bullpen blow up. Alvarez had two doubles in last night’s game, playing 1st base. Tucker hit another homerun and WHY?? Is Miles Straw playing at short?!!

    Liked by 1 person

      • My guess (with nothing to back it up) is some team is inquiring and wants to know if he can play the infield. OR he is the replacement for Diaz next year.

        Like

    • Straw said that he and the team were interested in him being more versatile in order to try to add to his value to the team. As an outfielder he has great speed, a plus glove and an above average arm. He has a great eye at the plate and the ability to make contact, but has little power. So, they are trying to add another tool to him to make up for the missing power and that tool is versatility.
      It is my opinion that they are not necessarily trying to replace anyone, but to make Straw more valuable.
      As for Luhnow being in Round Rock, I sincerely believe he wanted to size up the team by talking directly to the manager and coaches and to have a discussion about every player there. The draft is coming soon and Luhnow is the parent and wants 30 or so report cards delivered personally to him to see what steps need to be taken about these players. I think he will visit Corpus Christi for the same reason, if he hasn’t already.
      June is draft time and June is also movement time for minor leaguers. June 2nd is also international free agent frenzy day. In June, players get added to the system and then for the next few months, some players get subtracted
      from the system.

      Like

  19. I kid you not. Exact same as last night. Got home from work, did couple things, sat down on sofa, Bregman hits homerun, like CC did last night. Is this some kind of pattern I can count on, call on, and demand as my fair share like in Charlie Brown?

    Like

  20. Last season I believe was when I anointed GS as potentially one of the all time great hitters, if…if…if, (now if he stays within himself & curtail that propensity to flail away). His mental makeup & desire to be among the best will determine how far he excels moving forward. CC gave a shout out about MVP & ka plunk. I’d like to see GS, AB & CC all have a ‘healthy’ run at MVP honors with tm 1st in mind, putting in the work to improve skill sets.
    With the numbers these guys are putting up the Astro mania has been revived (ala 2017). Again, this tm is special, WS special. And again, Gray, Cubs, not Dodgers in WS. Remember I said this.
    Got my Cubs/Astros tickets for Memorial Day, hope to see yawl there

    Like

  21. Tyler White broke my heart. I wanted this guy to make an impact on, for this tm. I expected him to come in this yr banging away, not eat himself away. I have no explanation for why he maybe thought he could take for granted the opportunity given him, let alone squander it when/if they let him go. I honestly hoped he’d turn I around but it ain’t looking good right now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A 33rd round draft choice. Worked so hard for years in the minors. Kept hitting. Great eye. Excellent lifetime OBP. Got his first real chance last year and took advantage of it. He has not broken my heart. But I am almost offended. It’s like he took his job in 2019 for granted. He should have come to camp in the best shape of his life.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Man – scoring 5 runs for Verlander is almost an automatic W – Diaz helped him out with a great snag with the bases loaded – the Tigers fielding was baaaad at times tonight.
    On to the Red Sox – need to keep grinding guys

    Liked by 1 person

  23. On the pitch Jones hit for a home run, Chirinos was set up on the outside corner at the knees and Verlander delivered it on the inside corner just below the letters. That was a classic case of making a bad pitch and paying for it. But, as has been the case the entire season, Verlander made very few mistakes besides that one and ended up giving up one run.
    It’s almost impossible to believe that a pitcher could give up 11 homers in 64.1 innings and still give up a total of only 17 runs. Verlander is a wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. -Jose Urquidy has been promoted to Round Rock from Corpus Christi and Christian Javier has been promoted from Fayetteville to Corpus.
    Those two promotions might be an indication that Corbin Martin’s promotion to Houston isn’t considered to be a temporary thing.
    -I see the reasoning behind having Yordan Alvarez getting more playing time at first base. Having him able to play in the outfield and at first base adds to his flexibility at the major league level. If I could pick out one thing about Alvarez that give me hope that he could be a big producer, it’s his low K-rate in AAA this season.
    -Bryan Abreu threw 5 no-hit innings for Corpus Christi last night. He issued 2 BBs and struck out 6. It was his best outing of this season.

    Like

  25. Apparently Jojanse Torres, who has pitched only in relief for Quad Cities this season, will make his first start today. Torres Has 19 K’s and 8 BBs in 11.1 relief innings.

    Like

  26. Chandler Rome, of the Chronicle, wrote just, yesterday, where Hinch is quoted as saying Tyler White is going to get reduced playing time because of his recent play. I had hoped that Tyler would have soared this year…

    Like

    • sargeh, yeah I read that too. With Diaz hitting now, it will be hard to justify keeping Nephew’s right handed bat on the strongest roster in MLB when Altuve gets back, unless they decide to send Devenski down. Sooner than later, the big lefty is going to be brought up. Tyler sure did screw things up for himself.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dave, I believe Devenski is going to stay a bit longer, though, he does not deserve it. It is the 13 pitcher thing. It will, again, come down to Tyler or Kemp.

        Like

  27. Looking over the 25 man roster and their birthdates, it occurred to me, when will we see the first player born in the new millennia on the active roster??

    Like

  28. Richard Justice wrote an awesome piece about Springer today, and why he is THE heart and soul of this team. I hope the front office reads it and they do what they have done to Bregman and Verlander…..EXTEND this kid, RIGHT. NOW.
    Springer is the center of the “core 4”. I think we all know keeping Correa isnt going to happen, but Springer is a *must* piece.
    Saw a blip on the Astros twitter feed after Peacocks last start. Someone asked Brad what the ump said to him, and Brad kind of chuckled and said…….
    “He told me he almost threw me out of the game”! Brad said he didn’t know what he did to cause the ump to say that. I didn’t notice anything odd did you? This series in Boston will give us peak into if these guys are as good as we think they are.

    Liked by 1 person

      • So now they are almost tossing guys for the ump’s interpreatation of what their body language is. Maybe the pitcher is mad at himself. Sounds like the ump knew he blew one and was checking out the reaction

        Liked by 1 person

    • Wow – look at their Extra Base Hits – 48 doubles, 0 triples, 24 HRs.
      Teams like the Astros and Twins have about 100 more XBHs than the Marlins already.
      The Astros have more doubles than they have XBHs. The Astros have more HRs than they have XBHs.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s