Run, don't walk, to your league waiver wire and grab Astros outfielder George Springer, as he is getting the call up today, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle:
Source tells the Chronicle that George Springer is on his way to the majors tomorrow.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) April 16, 2014
Springer has the potential to put up a 20 home run, 20 stolen base season, albeit with a low batting average and lots of strikeouts. He is the first of the many prospects we will see coming from the Astros stacked farm system, and he should impact fantasy leagues this season.
ZiPS, one of the most accurate projection systems out there, projects Springer to hit .237-.319-.439 with 26 home runs, 86 runs, 74 RBI and 27 stolen bases in 535 at bats. Seems optimistic to me, but this is a hitter who nearly put up a 40 home run, 40 stolen base season in AA/AAA last season.
Here is what ESPN's Keith Law had to say about him in his Top 100 Prospect Rankings earlier this year:
He's continued to improve his routes in center field and probably will stay there unless Houston ends up with a 70- or 80-grade defender to replace him. Springer could be a 30/30 player who draws plenty of walks; his ultimate value will depend on the contact he makes still being hard contact.
I could easily see him being a consistently high-BABIP guy who strikes out 180 times a year and still hits .280 or better, because of how quick his hands are, and that player in center field would be an All-Star.
Our own Matt Mattingly wrote this about him in his Making the Grade piece on Springer earlier this offseason:
Expect solid HR/SB splits out of the prospect right away, as he is capable of a 20-20 season right now. But the key area of concern here is Springer's approach at the plate. He could be a unique case capable of hitting for a high average while striking out a lot, or he could be in for a rude awakening when bringing that same approach against big league pitching. I take the high averages at the upper levels of the minor leagues as a great sign. If Springer can just manage a small drop in batting average to around the .270-to-.280 range, that would play very well with anything near 25 HR's and 25 SB's. Those numbers would make George Springer a top 25 overall fantasy option in the future.
In a corresponding move, the Astros sent Robbie Grossman to AAA and designated Lucas Harrel for assignment.
I own Springer in my AL only keeper league, so I am pretty excited about rostering him for pretty much the whole season. I thought for sure the Astros would wait till June to call him up, with the small chance they would call him up in May like the Nationals did with Bryce Harper and the Angels did with Mike Trout.
The Astros have been struggling to score runs this season, and I see Springer slotting into the three spot in their lineup on a regular basis.
How do you think he will perform this season?