Who Am I?
Height: 6′ 3″
Bats right, throws right
How Did I Get Here?
Houston made Springer the 11th overall pick of the 2011 draft, and he was called up to the majors on April 15, 2014. (This had absolutely nothing to do with delaying his free agency by a year; no, he clearly needed those last two weeks in the minors.)
Springer agreed to a one year, $3.9M contract this offseason in his first arbitration-eligible year. He will be eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.
Why Am I Here?
Springer will make the move from right field to center this season as the Astros choose to sacrifice some defense for more consistent hitting. He will start the season leading off, and will likely remain there for the foreseeable future.
What Are My Strengths?
Springer is a patient hitter, working deep into counts and drawing a lot of walks – he was 4th in the AL in this category last year. He has power to all fields – of his 29 homers last year, 8 were to center and 10 to right. He has plus speed and was an above-average right fielder; this will hopefully translate to at least average center field play.
What Are My Weaknesses?
Working deep into those counts also results in a TON of strikeouts. 178 K’s is pretty rough to watch from a leadoff hitter.
The other issue was his baserunning. “Caught stealing” is not the category you want to lead the league in, but Springer did exactly that – he was caught 10 times while succeeding only 9.
The other elephant in the room is health; last year was the first time Springer made it through a healthy season.
Loves to hit: Leading off the inning. Last year Springer hit .302/.397/.535 when he was the first batter of the inning – that’s a heck of a spark plug throughout a game.
Hates to hit: Springer handled curveballs better than most anyone on the team, but sliders befuddled him. With 124 at bats for sliders and only a .177 BA/.266 SLG, Springer seems to have the “can’t hit ’em, can’t lay off ’em” issue with sliders.
What is my future with the Astros?
Along with Altuve and Correa, Springer represents the core of the Astros for the next several years. I would expect an All-Star appearance or two along the way.
What is my projected 2017 performance?
Who else would I remind you of?
If you added about 20 points of batting average, I think Springer would be a dead ringer for Bobby Abreu.