I am thoroughly convinced that George Springer will be the Astros Most Valuable Player for the 2014 season. But he may not even be on the Opening Day roster.
Springer had a monster year in 2013 and has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues. But, in order to save a few bucks, the Astros may not promote their top outfield prospect until May. Waiting a month into the season to promote Springer would delay his arbitration eligibility for another year. Even though the 24-year old appears to be ready to make a major impact on a feeble lineup, his arrival in Houston may be delayed even further.
When asked about the possibility of Springer being one of the most impactful rookies in 2014, prospect guru Jim Callis offered an interesting opinion.
Astros fans are tired of waiting.
The losing is getting old and we are ready to see some improvement on the playing field.
Unlike other prospects that seemed to have mastered the AAA level — only to struggle in the majors –Springer is ready to deliver. Not only is he the best hitter in the organization, he also brings speed and defense to the table. Even if he fails to duplicate the awesome offensive numbers he posted in the minors, Springer’s overall skill set all but ensures he will still be a contributor.
Delaying a player’s progress in order to save a few bucks isn’t a strategy that was invented by the Astros. Every team does it. But haven’t the Astros saved enough money over the last two or three years?