For the past three seasons the Houston Astros have been the basement dwellers in their division. They lost over 100 games in those campaigns and didn’t have much of an impact in their first season in the American League in 2013.
Nothing seemed to go right for a franchise without a winning season since 2008, when they 86-75, and no postseason appearances since 2005 when they lost the World Series to the Chicago White Sox.
What’s to make of an Astros team that has been lost for eight seasons? The first thought is to create an impact in the MLB draft every year and cross their fingers hoping for the luck of the draw. Then, let those players develop into potential superstars and versatile utility men in the minor leagues.
Houston did that exact scenario in the first round of the 2011 draft, when they picked George Springer for their first round and 11th overall selection.
An outfielder out of the University of Connecticut, the Astros could very well see potential in this kid.
As predicted, they were right.
It only took Springer two and a half seasons to finally break through into the major leagues and he made his debut on April 26, 2014.
The budding superstar flew through the minors, hitting 65 home runs and driving in 207 runs over two-plus seasons with the Astros farm system.
His best season came in 2012, when hit 24 homers and had 87 runs batted in between two teams (Lancaster Single-A affiliate, Corpus Christi Double-AA Affiliate of the Astros).
It’s easy to see why George is the star in Houston fans have been hungry for since the likes of Astros greats Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.
Springer has the potential to be the likes of Biggio and Bagwell combined, which is saying a lot. But as it looks like so far, the young right fielder isn’t phased by the big stage and spotlight.
With an average that needs to be worked on a bit (average over .240 this season), his power numbers and RBI totals haven’t disappointed. He has hit over 10 homers and drove over 35 RBIs in the 2014 campaign.
For a rookie of his caliber, it’s no surprise he comes right out of the gate and to the bat like a veteran. His contributions on the field are similar to what LA Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper made in 2012. Both were the talk of their towns and all of baseball, and with Springer – Houston is definitely not going to have problem in the future.
The future is bright for the Astros. Springer in the middle of the lineup with the possibility of other prospects coming forth (Jon Singleton and Carlos Correa are a few of a handful of prospects to name) it’ll be playoff appearance after playoff appearance for Houston.
Springer could be the reason Houston makes it to only their second World Series appearance in franchise history in a few years.
Springer, like many young and upcoming baseball players, has a championship mindset and that mindset will carry well in the Astros dugout. His awards might even start at AL Rookie of the Year this season.