By The Baseball Beginnings Guy
May 16, 2012
Another one of my “first time I saw this guy stories,” – Wareham, 2009, George Springer was a skinny, shy freshman right out of UCONN. I remember he was in the same BP group with Alex Dickerson. There were a lot of better known guys than Springer on that team, but I remember standing behind the cage and seeing his loose, wispy hands rocket some balls out to the metal football stands in left field.
Later on, I saw him quite a bit as a sophomore and junior because UCONN spent so much of their time barnstorming Southern California. So here’s Springer, a year later, in pro ball, at Lancaster. How ya’ doin George? Good to see you again. Baseball Beginnings remembers you well. But buddy, I’m telling you, you gotta fix that collapsing back leg.
Tall, lean and athletic frame filling out into lean muscular well-proportioned features. Loose, easy raw power, plus runner, plus center field defender – gold glove potential in center field. Graceful defender with plus first step. I got him at 4.1 down the line and better on the bases. I’m staying with the 40 arm strength I put on him in college, though he makes it play like a 5 because he gets rid of the ball so quickly.
Here’s what he’s got to correct: right now, he’s got a long swing and he’s a free swinger pulling off too many balls and giving away too many at-bats. Give me a guy with velocity and I beat him middle-in and I beat him down-and-away. A lefty who spins it will give him fits. I like George, but he needs to fix this stuff.
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Right now, Springer has got to learn that college baseball is over. He’s got two different stances – one in BP and one in the game. He’s narrow in the cage and wide in the game. Springer was always narrow as an amateur. As a pro, I don’t know if he did this or the Astros did, but he’s getting beaten by ordinary stuff. His backside is collapsing, he’s not trusting his hands, and he’s pulling off too many pitches. Springer’s hands are too good for this. He needs to return to the compact, kinetically powerful set-up he always had in school. You don’t write him off right now, of course, but he needs at-bats and patience. He is a young pro, but is quite better than this.