Astros Season Rewind: George “Super” Springer
George Springer zoned out all the doubters this season and in turn had the healthiest season in his Houston Astros career.
George Springer showed that he is ready to contribute and stay healthy with a breakout season by playing all 162 games for the team. He set career-highs across the board statistically and continued to be a spark plug in the dugout in an overall disappointing season for the Houston Astros. This does not mean George did not struggle this season, but he overall had a successful year. Let’s take a look at what he did this year.
Springer, like the rest of the team, struggled right out of the gate. Through April 15, he was only hitting .205 with a .589 OPS. He was able to turn it around after the 15th and become one of the best hitters on the team the rest of the first half. By the end of April, the Astros were 7-17, but Springer was hitting .278 and had a .340 on base percentage. He was a bright spot early on in the year.
All-Star Game Final Vote
The Astros outfielder was such a good contributor in the first half that he was a finalist for the All-Star Game’s Final Vote. In the first half of the season, he hit .262 and had raised his OPS to .832 after the rough start. He also supported his solid statistics with outstanding work in right field, continuing to show that he is one of the best in the league at that position.
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His push to the All-Star Game did not end successfully, partially due to Michael Saunders, his main opponent in the Vote, being on Toronto thus having whole country of Canada on his side. This Final Vote is also where the nickname “Super Springer” became well-known in the Astros’ community.
Springer started out the second half a little slow, seeing his average drop to as low as .252. He still finished out the season strong and contributed in the push that kept the Astros competing until late September. He finished the season with a strong line in his third year, hitting .261 with 29 home runs (second on the team), 82 RBI, 29 doubles, and a .359 on base percentage.
Overall for the season, the former first round pick was one of the top performers on the team. After the poor month of April, the team switched him to the leadoff spot. And that is one of the main reasons the team started succeeding.
Hitting Jose Altuve third in the lineup with George leading off was a turning point for the Astros’ lineup. Even though the season for Springer was good, he still has areas he needs to improve on to take the next step. He needs to cut down on strikeouts, as he finished with 178 including many 3 strikeout games. His base stealing was also an issue, getting thrown out more than 50% of the time.
Should those issues be resolved, he can become one of the better players in the league. The future is exciting in Houston, and Springer is one of the main reasons for that.
**Statistics provided by Baseball Reference and MLB.com**