Houston Astros: George Springer is the team’s best shot at MVP

George Springer of the Houston Astros (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
George Springer of the Houston Astros (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros have gotten off to a solid start to the 2019 season. A big reason for that is George Springer. In fact, he’s the team best shot at MVP.

The Houston Astros drafted George Springer back in 2011. That’s right the old regime that led the team into such a bad spot that a complete, organizational teardown and rebuild was required actually drafted the player that became the face of that rebuild.

So, though there was a lot of bad and destruction that regime brought about, Springer became a bright spot from their tenure. He was the first true five-tool prospect that the team had had in their farm system in a very, very long time.

Springer rapidly worked his way to the big leagues and made his debut in 2014 and has been a mainstay on the Houston Astros roster ever since. In 2014, Ben Reiter, of Sports Illustrated, accurately predicted that the Astros would win the World Series and Springer was on the cover.

As Jose Altuve recently and brilliantly articulated, Springer has been and is, currently, the heart and soul of the Astros. But, up until this year, he hasn’t been that generational superstar he was once thought to be. Don’t get me wrong, he has been very, very good. He’s hit well, fielded well, and ran well en route to a couple of All-Star games.

However, everything seems to have changed up to this point of the 2019 season. Practically no one has gotten off to as hot of a start as Springer. At the time of his writing, he has scored the most runs in the MLB with 42 of them. He has the second most homers in the majors with 17, only one behind reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich.

Beyond those two gaudy numbers, Springer has the fourth-best slugging percentage and OPS in the league at .663 and 1.065 in the entire MLB. Additionally, Springer also posts the third best on-base percentage, .402, the eighth-best average, .320, and second-best WAR, 2.5, in the AL.

I could go on and on with more numbers and counting stats that will continue to demonstrate the high level of play that Springer has been at for the Houston Astros this year. For instance, he ranks at the 89th percentile and above in all of the advanced metrics for batting. He’s just been on a whole other level in 2019.

He is the spirited leader of the offensive that is being compared to the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig Yankees. He is the best and most dynamic leadoff hitter in the game right now. He can get just as easily launch a leadoff homer to start the game or draw a walk. It seems that whatever the Astros need, Springer provides.

He can make the outstanding, game-saving catch in the outfield just as he did a few nights ago in Houston. He can also launch the game-winning homer like he did last night (5/17) against the Red Sox to extend the winning streak to nine games.

The Houston Astros are a little over a quarter of the way through the season and Springer is already a virtual lock to be an All-Star this season. It is a little early for this talk as a lot can change but Springer has also firmly placed himself in the conversation for AL MVP.

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There are several other players on the team that if I told you prior to the season starting they would be leading the way in MVP race would have been believable. Jose Altuve would have been at the top as a former MVP. Alex Bregman is the team’s youngest and brightest star. Carlos Correa has incredible talent and finally seemed healthy. You might have even believed Justin Verlander or Gerrit Cole could have been in the conversation.

Springer has always been good but not many placed him at MVP levels prior to what he’s done in 2019. Yet, here we are, a quarter into the season and it is Springer that leads the way not only in the Astros clubhouse but also across the entire AL. He has been a machine and he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Don’t blink now but George Springer could very easily wind up being your MVP at season’s end.

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George Springer has been playing excellent baseball for the Houston Astros in 2019. His slash line is .320/.402/.663 to go with 17 homers and 42 runs and RBIs. He has been the best player on one of the best teams in the league and the arrow is only pointing straight up.