Is Center Fielder George Springer A Shoe-In To Start For 2014 Houston Astros?

By Josh Sippie
Brad Penner – USA TODAY Sports

It had been preached just about all year: “Get George Springer to the MLB.” Well, that quickly became, “Why isn’t George Springer in the MLB yet?” The fact is, the only level that could still challenge Springer is the MLB. He has dominated every minor league level that he’s passed through, and there is nowhere else for him to go. He’s going to come to Spring training for the Houston Astros and in all likelihood, he’ll dominate that too. Even if he doesn’t though, is he pretty much a guarantee to be patrolling center field in Minute Maid next season?

Houston center fielder’s in 2013 hit .218, which was good for 29th in the league. They hit eight home runs all year, good for 24th in the league. Their 48 RBIs were 28th in the league, and, of course, their strikeouts (187) were second in the league.

That makes it pretty obvious that one of the main positions that Houston needs improvement at is center field.

In steps Springer. With a .311 batting average paired with 18 home runs and 53 RBIs, Springer’s half season in Triple-A (just 219 at bats) are better than Houston’s center fielders did all year (602 at-bats). It’s all projection at this point, and speculation is worth absolutely nothing, but it’s incredibly exciting to imagine what Springer can put together in a full season, especially at a pro-ball level.

Granted, Springer won’t exactly help the Astros’ strikeout totals, but he won’t hurt them either, and he is gradually improving. He is a straight up five tool player that, once he makes the MLB, will never have to be sent down. He’s here to stay, and no matter what he does in Spring training, he should be the Astros’ center fielder come opening day.

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