With virtually every outfielder, including George Springer, becoming free agents in 2021, the Astros can’t wait to address the future of their outfield.
The Astros outfield looks to be all set for the upcoming season, but beyond that, not so much. George Springer, Michael Brantley, Josh Reddick, and Jake Marisnick are all due to become free agents following the 2020 season. It’s time to extend a contract or two before it’s too late.
Taken in the first round of the 2011 draft and breaking into the Big Leagues with the Astros three years later, George Springer has been instrumental in the resurrection of this Houston ballclub. Then, in just three seasons after his rookie year, he’s named Most Valuable Player of the 2017 World Series, putting an exclamation point on his importance to the team and it’s rise to the top.
The Astros leadoff hitter had a great season with career highs in most offensive stats. His slash line of .292/.383/.591 and .974 OPS was the best he has seen in his six-year career. He also had the most home runs (39) and RBIs (96) than he has ever had in a season.
Springer knocked a franchise record 12 leadoff home runs this season and now has 36 total in his career. His 156 wRC+ was second only to Mike Trout in the American League among outfielders and his 6.5 WAR was the third-highest, barely under Mookie Bett’s 6.6.
He already has extensive postseason experience with 50 games under his belt, including 14 World Series appearances. He has a .339 BA in World Series play with an OPS of 1.295 and consists of 7 HRs, 14 Rs, and 11 RBIs.
Springer’s defensive capabilities are also a big plus to the Astros. Among outfielders with 100 games or more this season, he was third in the AL with an 11 rdrs (defensive runs saved above average). He also placed in the top ten in fielding percentage with a .991 and ranked 5th overall in Fangraphs.com defensive rating.
I think Springer is the spark plug of this team and is a huge asset on the field and in the dugout. Houston needs to do all they can to come to an agreement with him on a multi-year contract extension. Once he hits the free-agent market in 2021 it’s going to be all that much harder to keep Springer in an Astros uniform.