Astros: Springer deserves some MVP votes after strong season
Astros outfielder George Springer should be included on some MVP ballots.
All the talk in the AL MVP race is between Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and Angels outfielder Mike Trout, as it should be. Those two will likely take the top two spots in the voting, but they won’t be the only ones showing up on ballots. Bregman’s teammate George Springer also should find his name on some ballots.
I wouldn’t expect him to garner any first place votes, as those will likely end up going between Bregman and Trout. But Springer should grab some votes further down the ballot to the point that he could end up cracking the Top Five in the final tally.
Springer had the best season of his career so far, establishing new career highs in batting average (.292), on-base percentage (.383), slugging percentage (.591), OPS (.974), home runs (39) and RBIs (96). He also set a new high in OPS+ (150) and earned his third consecutive All-Star selection.
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What’s even more impressive is he tallied those 39 homers and 96 RBIs while playing in only 122 games. Had he not spent time on the Injured List earlier this year, he could very well have surpassed Bregman in homers and made the MVP debate a three-sided argument.
His Case for Votes
Springer’s 39 homers were fifth in the AL. He finished ranked fourth in the league in slugging, fourth in OPS and eighth in on-base percentage. His 6.2 WAR among position players was sixth in the league.
His adjusted OPS+ was fourth in the league, and he finished sixth in both Adjusted Batting Runs and Adjusted Batting Wins. Springer also ranked fourth in the league in at bats per home run and offensive win percentage.
Beyond the stats, Springer is the tone-setter at the top of the lineup. His 12 leadoff home runs this season are a franchise record and in many ways he’s the heart and soul of the team. Having Springer in the lineup just makes the Astros that much more devastating.
There’s clearly a case to be made that he was one of the five most valuable players in the league this season. Time will tell if the voters agree. The results will be announced Nov. 14.