Springer uncertain about Home Run Derby interest
The Houston Astros are getting a great snapshot of what phenom George Springer can do. Entering play Tuesday he had a slash line of .279/.373/.482, and has slugged 12 home runs in 66 games while flashing amazing defensive skills in the outfield.
Springer’s flashiness and flair for big, booming home runs has some speculating whether he’ll toss his hat into the ring for the Home Run Derby next month in Cincinnati.
As he told Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday night, though, he’s not really that enthusiastic about taking part, specifically because he doesn’t see himself as a good fit: "Oh, I don’t even know yet. I’m not really a home run derby guy. I’m not really good at home run derbies. Can hit (homers) in the game, can hit ’em in batting practice, but that’s a totally different thing. I guess we’ll have to find out, I guess.”
More importantly than his ability to be a ‘home run derby guy’, he said to Drellich, is his commitment to the Astros’ continued success: “I would have to do what’s best for our team. I know that I’m not necessarily the best home-run-derby hitter. I don’t want to get myself into a situation where I try to do too much and it ends up affecting me for the second half of the year.”
Springer’s apparent lack of interest in the Derby runs parallel to teammate Jose Altuve’s take on the All-Star Game in general, as he too is focusing more on the team and less on the individual.
That ‘team first’ mentality is paying off, as the Astros are still in first place in the competitive AL West and are working hard at keeping themselves at the top.