Hello, George Springer (Goodbye, Robbie Grossman)

Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle

Yesterday the Houston Astros called up outfield prospect George Springer, one of the guys expected to lead this future-good club once the rebuilding process reaches its culmination. In other words, the future is here now. Not the boring future, as in serviceable second baseman Jose Altuve or solid catcher Jason Castro–the exciting, face-of-the-franchise future. Springer demolished all competition at AA and AAA in about 600 plate appearances the last two years, belting 37 homers across both levels of competition in 2013 and starting 2014 with a slash line of .353/.459/.647. (Go to MLBfarm for more on him and all other prospects, I can’t praise that place enough.) He entered this season ranked the 20th best prospect in all of baseball, but his stats say he’s even better than that.

Springer will replace Robbie Grossman, as he should. In my preview of the AL West I named Grossman the worst regular position player in the division and he hasn’t done much to challenge that opinion. According to Fangraphs no Astro has been more detrimental than Grossman. Despite a hot stretch where he clubbed two home runs, Grossman was batting .136/.255/.341. His defense has always rated poorly in almost every regard. While it’s true advanced defensive metrics are finicky, it’s safe to say that Springer was no asset with the glove. With that batting line, he needed to be.

So, Houston just improved, and the benefits should be obvious from the start. The Astros are removing the placeholders and stopgaps from their active roster, and a few years from now we might look at the day they
brought George Springer up to the bigs and say, “That was the turning point.” I was the first to write it.

George Springer in Spring Training

George Springer after he was drafted in 2011

One thought on “Hello, George Springer (Goodbye, Robbie Grossman)

  1. I am super worried about his fingers in this picture. Didn’t his Little League coach ever teach him to keep his fingers behind the bat? This hurts me.

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