George Springer Looking to Improve on Impressive 2014 Rookie Campaign
For those who have lived in New Britain for the majority of their life, George Springer is no stranger. Learning to become a complete baseball player during his time in Walicki – A.W. Stanley Little League (now known as New Britain Little League), those from around this city and surrounding areas saw just how talented this kid was. That’s why when he was called up to the Majors in April 2014, it was no surprise to any of us just how successful he had become. It was still no surprise to us when he quickly became a household name across the country after setting the league on fire in his first few weeks with the Houston Astros. That’s because we all knew how hard he worked and how it was his dream to play in the MLB.
“I think that as a kid, you always dream to be like somebody in the MLB and hope to play one day in a major league stadium. I had those dreams every day, going back to when I started playing at four years old,” he told the City Journal back in 2014.
Now, in 2015, he’s been looking to improve upon his 2014 campaign, which was cut short due to a quad injury. Thus far, he has a .192 batting average, totaling 19 hits in 99 plate appearances. As someone who played through half of the 2014 season with much promise, these stats aren’t exactly what one had expected in 2015. However, Springer isn’t getting down on himself and is working to get back on track.
“I’ve been trying to be a slow as I can and decrease the effort, but still have the same swing,” Springer told the Houston Chronicle. “You just got to stick with that and you know, carry over into the game.”
With all that said, while his batting statistics may not look all that impressive on the surface, he’s been doing quite well in other areas of his game.
For example, he has ten stolen bases, which is tied for fifth in all of Major League Baseball. He has been patient at the plate, drawing 18 walks, which is tied for 15th throughout both the American and National League. His WAR average (Wins Above Replacement), which is used to summarize a player’s total contributions to their team in one statistic, is 0.6. This ranks in the top 100 of the entire league.
In addition, he’s been a defensive stud controlling right field. He’s made several highlight plays already, being featured numerous times on ESPN’s SportsCenter and other national television shows. He has been praised for his ruthless and aggressive nature in the outfield. However, his aggressiveness and desire to be the best in the league comes with drawbacks. On May 5, Springer made an amazing catch against the Texas Rangers, robbing Adrian Beltre of a double. In the process, he crashed head-first into the wall. As a result, he suffered a concussion and has been on the disabled list ever since.
“I talked to George and he’s doing well,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the Chronicle last week. “He was in good spirits the day after suffering a concussion and he’s in good spirits now. He’s going through the (concussion) protocol. He’s seeing our doctors, increasing physical activity and going along with the protocol to be evaluated every day and see what’s next.”
Springer began his rehab assignment on Tuesday with Double-A Corpus Christi and is expected to re-join the team after being activated from the disabled list on Wednesday. He’ll of course be looking to get back into a groove while increasing his averages and improve on his statistics. This will be important because the Astros are currently in first place in the American League West and the team will need to him stay healthy and be consistent as they head into the summer months.
One thing is for sure – all of us here in New Britain are rooting for Springer and when he gets back on track and begins to achieve the same success he had in 2014, none of us will be surprised.