George Springer
George Springer
31-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Toronto Blue Jays
10-Day IL
Injury Quadriceps
Est. Return 4/27/2021
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Springer's time in Houston has come to an end. He came up as a rookie who could take a walk and hit homers, but his aggressive approach left him exposed to strikeouts. That got better each year, and Springer actually closed 2020 with a career-best strikeout rate. One would assume Springer had big home/road splits, but in fact he has 12 more homers on the road than at home in his career, and hit 19 points better on the road in his time with Houston. This past season was the first in which Springer hit more flyballs than groundballs, and was also the most pull-heavy season of his big-league career. It is almost as if he was auditioning for a big-budgeted 2021 employer. We're taught to be cautious in the first year of a new big contract, but Springer has all of the tools to be a frontline fantasy producer even if he no longer steals bases as he once did. He can hit in any one of the top four spots of a lineup. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#51
ADP
$Signed a six-year, $150 million contract with the Blue Jays in January of 2021.
Performs full activities
OFToronto Blue Jays
Quadriceps
April 18, 2021
General manager Ross Atkins said Sunday that Springer (quadriceps) is "running and doing all of the baseball activities" at the Blue Jays' facility in Florida, Keegan Matheson of MLB.com reports. "Not quite at 100 percent with all of it, but getting live [batting practice] reps here in the coming hours and days," Atkins said. "He's had good defensive action. He's had plenty of reps in the batting cage and he's running again, so I think it's a matter of us being disciplined to the process and being disciplined to that progression to make sure that we don't move too quickly [with his activation]."
ANALYSIS
Atkins' update more or less aligns with reports that have come out the last few days about Springer, indicating that all is sound in his recovery from the right quad strain. Springer was initially forced to the 10-day injured list due to an oblique strain, but he's completely past that issue and is now looking to shake off the quad concern. He could be a candidate to make his Toronto debut during the team's upcoming homestand that begins April 27.
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+11%
OPS vs RHP
2021
No Stats
2020
 
 
+13%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+11%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019vs Left .883 203 33 12 25 3 .260 .374 .509
Since 2019vs Right .979 566 100 41 103 4 .292 .376 .602
2021vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Left .823 50 8 4 7 1 .227 .300 .523
2020vs Right .928 163 29 10 25 0 .273 .374 .554
2019vs Left .903 153 25 8 18 2 .272 .399 .504
2019vs Right .999 403 71 31 78 4 .299 .377 .621
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
2021
No Stats
2020
 
 
+11%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019Home .910 363 57 26 58 4 .271 .358 .552
Since 2019Away .993 410 76 27 70 3 .296 .393 .601
2021Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Home .854 101 19 8 11 1 .230 .337 .517
2020Away .945 116 18 6 21 0 .293 .379 .566
2019Home .932 262 38 18 47 3 .287 .366 .565
2019Away 1.012 294 58 21 49 3 .297 .398 .614
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring George Springer
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8 days ago
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The Z Files: The Fallacy of Stabilization and an Early Look at Home Runs
10 days ago
Todd Zola offers some thoughts on early-season trends, including the home run surge led by Nick Castellanos and the Reds.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
Despite missing a month with a hamstring strain, Springer delivered the best season of his career in 2019. The injury killed Springer's chances of claiming AL MVP honors, but he still met value for those that invested an early-round pick. A recovery in the power department was the key, as Springer bounced back from a career-worst .780 OPS in 2018 to rank eighth in the majors (1.015). Juiced ball notwithstanding, Springer's gains look sustainable on some level, as his Statcast expected slugging percentage placed him in the 96th percentile of hitters. And though his three-year streak of 100-plus runs ended due to the low games total, Springer rode the wave of a prolific offense to 96 RBI, the sixth most in MLB history for a leadoff man. With Houston retaining most of its core lineup pieces in 2020, Springer won't be asked to steal much, but huge numbers in the other counting categories remain in the forecast.
Despite playing as many games last year as he did the year before, Springer's numbers took a noticeable dip, mainly due to his ISO dropping from a career-best .239 to a career-worst .169. He still managed to top 100 runs for the third year in a row while serving as the Astros' leadoff hitter, and outside of the power dip, he showed the same plate skills as the year before. There is some rebound potential for Springer -- he has pedigree (first-round pick in 2011) on his side and the Astros have a potent offense. He also logged a 15.0% HR/FB last season, well below his career mark of 20.2%. However, he will, possibly surprisingly, turn 30 late next season, so it is quite possible 2016 and 2017 will go down as the best years of his career, with 2018 representing the beginning of a slight decline. Regardless, he will patrol center field every day for the Astros again in 2019.
Springer hit 34 homers out of the leadoff spot last season, and did not even lead baseball in that department (Charlie Blackmon did). The early version of Springer struck out too much, but he has improved his strikeout rate in each of his four seasons at the major-league level (down to a 17.6 percent K% last season) while maintaining a double-digit walk rate. That ability to draw walks is what makes him the best fit for leading off, and the historically deep Astros lineup allowed him the opportunity to drive in 85 runs as well. To put that into perspective, fewer than 30 players have ever driven in as many as 80 runs out of the leadoff spot in a single season. Everything is in place for Springer to repeat his 2017 output, but don't expect a resurgence in the stolen-base category as he's gone 14-for-31 on the basepaths over the last two seasons combined.
Springer addressed durability concerns by playing in every game of the 2016 season. His metrics were very much in line with his 2015 efforts nearly across the board. He did set career highs in the counting categories with 29 homers and benefitted from Jose Altuve hitting behind him to score 116 runs. As long as Springer maintains his ability to get on base (.356 career OBP), there is little reason to move him out of the leadoff spot. While he does strike out a bit, he has improved his rate each season to date. Splits-wise, he does prefer lefties (.267/.391/.517; 14 percent walk rate, 23 percent strikeout rate) over righties (.255/.342/.437; 11 percent walks, 27 percent Ks) but his numbers against right-handers are not a killer, though it does help frame why it will be tougher for him to hit for a higher average. The next phase of improvement will be to get more loft on the ball, as a near 50 percent groudball rate is too high for someone with his pop.
Springer struggled out of the gates in 2015, hitting just .222 with seven home runs and 17 RBI through the first two months of the season. He did swipe 11 bases during that span, however, and showed solid plate discipline with 32 walks. When the calendar flipped to June, something clicked for the 26-year-old, as he hit .321/.387/.518 with six long balls and 12 RBI while seeing time atop the order for Houston. Unfortunately, Springer was hit by a pitch during a game on July 1 and ended up missing two months of the season due to a fractured right wrist. Springer has missed significant time in each of the past two seasons, which is a bit concerning for someone who was a second- or third-round fantasy pick last year. His 30/20 upside is too great to ignore, however, and he may even be had at a discount in 2016 drafts.
With nothing left to prove in the minors, Springer made his much-anticipated major league debut for the Astros in mid-April. He struggled initially, hitting .182 in 14 homer-less games before finally flashing his power potential when the calendar flipped to May. The 25-year-old hit .294 with 10 long balls and 25 RBI during the month, which brought much relief to fantasy owners who had been anxiously awaiting his callup. Springer did have issues making contact (61%) and he struck out at an incredibly high rate (33%), but he still turned in a respectable stat line, hitting .231/.336/.468 with 20 home runs, 51 RBI and five steals before knee and quadriceps injuries interfered in July, ultimately ending his season. Expected to be fully healthy entering camp, Springer is likely to run more on the basepaths than he did in his rookie season, which bodes well for those who invest in the powerful outfielder. A 40/20 season is certainly attainable if he maintains his health over a full season.
Springer, 24, was a finalist for USA Today's 2013 Minor League Player of the Year award after hitting a combined .303 with 37 home runs, 108 RBI and 45 steals over 135 games between Double-A and Triple-A. The right-handed slugger's 1.050 OPS at Triple-A would have led the league if he had played in enough games to qualify. Perhaps one of the only knocks on Springer is his high strikeout rate (26.5 percent in the minors for his career), but he possesses the rare combination of power and speed that fantasy owners drool over. Springer is one of the most exciting prospect in baseball, and he appears likely to take over as the Astros' starting center fielder at some point in 2014, although the short-term plans for him became cloudy when the Astros acquired Dexter Fowler from the Rockies in December.
Springer's first full season line was pretty much as anticipated: lots of homers, steals and strikeouts. Despite the big 6-foot-3 frame, he is fairly lean, weighing just 200 pounds. As he matures, Springer figures to put on some muscle, which should only add to his power potential. He is going to need to fix the hole in his swing if he wants to continue to succeed in the upper minors. Springer has outstanding upside, and in Minute Maid Park he could emerge as a five-tool player. He will need more seasoning, though, so do not expect him to arrive this year as anything more than a September callup.
The Astros' toolsy 2011 first-round draft pick arrived with much fanfare, signing with the team right before the August deadline. Athletic and fast, he figures to play a competent center field with decent power and speed. Springer may always struggle with contact, as his college numbers reveal serious holes in his swing (161 strikeouts in 692 at-bats). He's probably two years away from being a major league regular and will likely open at Low-A Lexington. For now, he's considered the Astros' center fielder of the future.
More Fantasy News
Live BP on tap
OFToronto Blue Jays
Quadriceps
April 17, 2021
Manager Charlie Montoyo said Saturday that Springer (quadriceps) will start taking live batting practice in the coming days, Keegan Matheson of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Coming along slowly
OFToronto Blue Jays
Quadriceps
April 13, 2021
Springer (quadriceps) will not accompany the Blue Jays on their upcoming road trip that runs through April 25, Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Over oblique issue, managing quad
OFToronto Blue Jays
Quadriceps
April 11, 2021
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Springer has made a full recovery from the oblique strain he suffered late in spring training, but the outfielder remains day-to-day while he works through a right quadriceps strain, Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun reports.
ANALYSIS
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Unlikely to return during homestand
OFToronto Blue Jays
Quadriceps
April 8, 2021
Springer (oblique/quadriceps) is unlikely to return during the Blue Jays' upcoming homestand that runs from April 8-14, Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun reports.
ANALYSIS
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Dealing with quad tightness
OFToronto Blue Jays
Oblique
April 7, 2021
Springer (oblique) underwent an MRI after he felt tightness in his right quad while running the bases Tuesday, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports.
ANALYSIS
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