My Houston Astros Spring Training Experience

Mar 5, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Alex Bregman (82) bats during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the New York Mets at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Alex Bregman (82) bats during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the New York Mets at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Four things

Mar 3, 2016; Clearwater, FL, USA; Houston Astros outfielder George Springer (4) watches the pregame activities before the start of the spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2016; Clearwater, FL, USA; Houston Astros outfielder George Springer (4) watches the pregame activities before the start of the spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

Four things have stuck out to my during my time in Florida:

  • Colby Rasmus/A.J. Reed put on a show in batting practice
  • George Springer WILL break out this year
  • Wandy might be more of a factor than we thought
  • Jose Altuve has more power than you think he does

I promise this is the last time I will bring up something that doesn’t involve the game but goodness gracious. Rasmus isn’t a big guy, but if you put it where you want him to, it will go a long, long way. The guy throwing to him the last few days must have found that spot.

He had a seven-pitch round before the Blue Jay game, resulting in 7 leaving the yard to deep right. None of these were cheapies either, and these were balls that had Springer yelling in excitement.

I am a huge advocate of Reed, so I walked away from the main show (Correa, Altuve, Springer) to watch him in a parallel field. This guy is huge and hits balls further than anyone I have seen in a long time. He will send many balls in the upper deck in right field at Minute Maid for years to come. I even saw the future Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell in shock at the power of this kid.

Okay, now to the part that everyone saw. I wrote an article a month or so ago about how this is the year Springer breaks out. Springer has all the tools but has yet to put it all together, much of that having to do with injury problems in the past. When I asked him about that, he told me he’s feeling “Better than I ever have”, and it is sure showing.

Springer is 3-3 so far in Spring Training, with all three hits being two-baggers and drawing a walk along the way. Although it is such a small sample, it just convinces me even more that this is the year that George turns into a perennial All-Star outfielder for years to come. Undoubtedly the sparkplug of the team on the field and in the dugout, it could be argued that no one is more valuable to the team than Springer. I can not wait to see him leading this team, expect a huge year from Mr. Springer.

More from Climbing Tal's Hill

Wandy signed a minor league deal with Houston because he wanted to retire an Astro, but after the couple innings against the Cardinals, he might play a bigger part than actually thought. The 37-year-old is absolutely on the downslope of his career but looks like he could have a little left in the tank if called upon. Wandy might have a little magic left in that arm of his.

Did you see that double Altuve hit against the Cardinals? He hit this ball 380-foot opposite field with a flick of his wrist. Keep in mind this is the 5’6 165 lb second baseman we are talking here. I don’t know about you, but I was thoroughly impressed. His power numbers seem to be climbing lately and don’t be surprised if you see him make a push for 20 home runs in the next year or so.

Next: Josh Fields 2016 projections

Spring Training is an absolute blast, if you have never been, I recommend you to grab a buddy and head out here. The atmosphere is like no other, and I absolutely love it. This should be a great spring for Houston which leads to a great year when it matters. The depth and talent on this team make the sky the limit, and I can’t wait to see what they do with it.