George Springer is as good as ever offensively. Despite a slow start, the recent AL Player of the Week is currently batting .280/.350/.545 on the season with 16 “Springer Dingers”, tied for 3rd in the AL. But what makes this George Springer’s best season to date? His defense.
When center field’s iconic Tal’s Hill was removed, not many considered the added benefit it would have on George Springer defensively. With a shorter and easier center field to cover, George Springer finally has the necessary range to play the position he spent a majority of the time playing in the Minors.
George Springer’s newfound ability to play center has helped the Astros be more flexible with their lineups, but more than that, Springer is killing it fielding-wise. He has a positive Defensive WAR for the first time in his career, sitting at a very respectable 2.2. George Springer has the highest defensive rating on the team, and leads the Astros in Defensive Runs Saved (3) and UZR (3.4), meaning he has saved three more runs than the average center-fielder so far this season.
Springer has always played solid defense in right-field, but he has never been as dominant fielding-wise as he has been this year. And the fans have noticed. Here are several of Springer’s many defensive highlights on the season:
While George Springer’s defense makes him more valuable than ever, he may be having his best offensive season of all time as well. George Springer currently has career highs in wRC+ (143) and wOBA (.379), and he is on pace to beat his single-season home-run record by a fair amount.
In a season where everyone is seemingly playing above average but not having career seasons, George Springer is proving to be more valuable than ever for the Astros.