HOUSTON – While the Houston Astros struggled to get through their 2013 season, there was one player in their minor league system who seeing very different results.
George Springer is ready to duplicate that success, but hopefully at the big league level.
“That’s in the past. This is 2014 and I have a lot to live up to,” Springer said. “I have my own standards. Just go out, have fun and every once in a while see how hard I can hit it.”
Springer has been making the rounds this week as part of the Astros Caravan. On Saturday, he joined his fellow prospects and teammates at FanFest at Minute Maid Park and he realized just how much the fans want to see him in the major leagues.
“That’s awesome,” Springer said. “For a kid and a player I think that’s something special to have someone behind you and supporting. But, like I’ve said before, this is a hard game and they’re going to put the best 25 on the roster so I’ll go out and have fun.”
General Manager Jeff Luhnow doesn’t think Springer is too far away either.
“In my opinion, Springer is very close to being ready to contribute at the major league level,” Luhnow said. “Based on what he did last year, really a historic performance in the last 50 years and that suggests he’s really close. Having said that, he only spent half the year at Triple-A and we’ll see how the spring goes but I expect him to be a part of this team this year.”
Those numbers Luhnow referenced were indeed unprecedented. The 3rd year player out of Connecticut was named 2013 Astros Minor League Player of the Year after combining to hit .303 with 106 runs scored, 27 doubles, 37 home runs, 108 RBI and 45 stolen bases with Oklahoma City and Corpus Christi last season.
Given that type of year, expectations are through the roof for the team’s top prospect and he’s ok with that. As for getting the call to the big leagues? That’s one thing he can’t control.
“As a player that’s the stuff that I thrive on, just go out and perform, develop and compete and hopefully keep having a lot of fun,” Springer said. “I will go out and play hands down as hard as I can and whatever happens, happens.”