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Houston Astros Slump Busters: George Springer

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A Springer break-out post is one that I never thought I would have to write. What does George Springer need to do to break out of his current funk? As a fantasy baseball owner, I kept Springer over Bryce Harper in one league. In another league, I rejected a Kris Bryant for Springer trade because of the faith I had in him. While it is still early in the season for the Houston Astros, are we doomed with another player who takes about 20 games to get on track?

Evan Gattis is starting to stir a little, Chris Carter is doing his best invisible man impression, and Springer is trying to cool off the fans with his massive swings and misses. His defense is not disappointing early though this season, check out this catch here.

Let’s Look at Springer’s 2014 Stats Month by Month

If Astros fans can remember last April after his call-up, Springer had trouble adjusting to major league pitches. In 14 games in April, Springer batted .182 with zero home runs while striking out 19 times. Once the calendar turned to May, Springer started seeing the ball better while hitting ten home runs. In April last year, his swings were similar to his swings and misses this year, he seemed overmatched with violent swings that made very little contact. Then in May, things started to click for Springer in every way.

What does this mean for George Springer in 2015?

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Looking at his 2014 stats shows that Springer is due to breakout in either the next four games or on May 1st. If the Astros are serious about being in contention in 2015, they better hope that it’s sooner than later. So far in 2015, Springer is batting .135/ 0 homers/ 2  RBI’s/ 5 walks through ten games. He has made solid contact recently but has still had 16 strikeouts.

Springer swing is a complicated one that leads to many strikeouts. But once his bat starts catching up with the ball, he will find the holes in the offense. When Springer was on in 2014, he would still strikeout at a high rate, but the ball jumped off his bat.

What Should we Expect from Springer for the Rest of the Season?

Will Springer hit 41 homers in 2015, which his 2014 full season numbers would have projected? He will have to cut down on his strikeout rate of 37.2% so far this season to hit 30+ homers. It’s too soon to start to say that he will be a bust in 2015, his minor league numbers and 2014 numbers say that he should be the real deal. Springer already has two stolen bases this season, so it is a reasonable expectation for him to steal 20+ stolen bases. Hitting second in the order for the Astros might be a good thing when he starts getting his line drives to

Hitting second in the order for the Astros might be a good thing when he starts getting his line drives to drop. With Jake Marisnick batting ninth and Jose Altuve leading off, there should be many opportunities to drive in runs for Springer. Despite the slow start, Springer should finish with 80+ runs batted in. His batting average will also depend on whether or he cuts down of his 37.2% strikeout rate he has maintained so far.

Astros fans shouldn’t fret Springer’s early season struggles, hopefully later in the year we will be looking at him as a perennially slow starter.

Check out my other Slump Buster posts;

Don’t Wake a Sleeping Bear

Finding Carter

Next: How the Astros Should Pitch to Mike Trout this Weekend?

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