Astros Opponents Are Getting to Know George Springer
When the typical baseball fan thinks of the Houston Astros, they think of Dallas Keuchel, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa. With Keuchel breaking out in 2015 to win the American League CY Young, Correa dropping jaws across the nation en route to the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year and Altuve being Altuve, the fame is well warranted.
Now let’s take a trip back in time before their claim to fame. When the 2013 season came to an end, the Astros found themselves in the cellar of the division by losing, once again, 100+ games. Keuchel had a 5.15 ERA, Correa was still a youngster, and Altuve hit a modest .283.
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The excitement was lacking, the talent was lacking, and all the buzz inside the Astros organization was centered around a certain outfielder who was coming to a near 40-40 campaign between AA and AAA. The “dynamic duo” of Springer and Jon Singleton was thought to be the cornerstone of the Astros lineup for years, toting the name “Springleton.” Singleton didn’t impress, but Springer did.
Springer was called up on April 16, 2014, to face the future AL Champs KC Royals. It took him 19 games to hit his first long ball in the show but from May 21-May 29 he made up for it. Hitting seven home runs in a seven-game stretch, and then it was on.
Finishing his rookie year with 20 long balls in just 78 games, he was the perfect compliment to the AL batting champ, Jose Altuve. You could say he suffered a sophomore slump in the power department. However, he upped his total game and learned how to hit the ball the other way with authority, raising his average. I believe that his injury down the stretch helped the Rangers catch the Astros in the division race.
Now, in 2016, he is sandwiched between Altuve and Correa in the lineup, night in and night out. While he might not have the star power of the other two, he definitely has the baseball power. Springer is very capable of a .280 35 100 season, which would catch many baseball fans off guard. I don’t think numbers like that would surprise any Astros fans though, because he is our little secret.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***