The Houston Astros called up 24-year-old prospect George Springer on Tuesday night and the young outfielder immediately becomes a must-add in all fantasy baseball leagues; regardless of size or scoring. The expectation is for Springer to play everyday in right field and he has the skills to step in and immediately become a five category contributor.
Last year, Springer hit 37 home runs and stole 45 bases across AA and AAA and he got off to a hot start in 2014, hitting .308 with three home runs, 17 runs, nine RBI and four steals in AAA. Springer was 18th on Baseball America’s prospect list for 2014, 19th on Keith Law’s list and seventh on Jason Collette’s top 50 fantasy baseball prospects list (five of the six guys ahead of him — Masahiro Tanaka, Xander Bogaerts, Jose Abreu, Nick Castellanos and Billy Hamilton — all started the year in the majors). Many expect Springer to step in and immediately become a 20-20 player and there’s no question he has the upside to finish 2014 as a top 20 outfielder.
Had Springer started the season in the majors, I would have likely had him ranked in the 25-35 range among outfielders, among guys like Michael Cuddyer, Domonic Brown, Nelson Cruz and Desmond Jennings. I think he still falls right into that range, so while I wouldn’t drop a guy like Domonic Brown for Springer, I’d certainly be fine showing Will Venable, Angel Pagan or Norichiki Aoki the door in order to make room for Springer.
Springer has the skills and the opportunity to become an immediate difference maker in fantasy baseball leagues. If he’s still available in your league — as I type this he’s still available in 43 percent of Yahoo! leagues and in 82 percent of ESPN leagues — go make the add.