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.