If you are an Astros fan looking for hope out of this season, you need to focus on the minor leagues. So it is not a secret that top prospect George Springer is having a historical season in 2013.
George Springer Reaches the 30/30 Club
With about a month still remaining in the minor league season, Springer became the first minor leaguer since 2009 to reach this illustrious club. Springer combines speed and power and has looked comfortable both in AA and AAA this season for the Astros. His performance this season has just made Astros’ fans yearn that much more for the promotion of the 2011 first round pick.
At the end of last season Springer had a little taste of action in AA (22 games) and he only hit .219 showing that he needed more seasoning. But after hitting .286 in the Arizona Fall League in the offseason, Springer came out raking at Corpus Christi in 2013.
Springer hit .297 in 73 games with 19 home runs, 55 RBI’s and 23 stolen bases. The problem though, is Springer’s propensity for the strike out. In the minor leagues it has not seemed to be a problem, but there is concern about how it will translate to the major league level. It is hard to strike out 29.7% of the time and still hit for a high average. Plus, you would assume that there would be an adjustment to major league pitching, so it’s possible he could even see an increase in strikeouts as Springer moves up.
After essentially doing all that he could do in AA, Springer received a promotion to AAA a little over a month ago, and actually kicked his production up a notch or two. In 43 games in Oklahoma City, he is hitting .308 with 12 home runs, 38 RBI’s, and 15 stolen bases. Perhaps more importantly, Springer’s strikeout percentage has actually gone down to 26.6%.
It is getting to the point where the Astros are just going to have to live with Springer’s strikeouts. Also, I’m not sure there is much more the outfielder can do in the minor leagues.