Photo: UCONN

50 in 50: George Springer

Draft : : Top Prospects
       
Published: Wednesday, April 27, 2011

George Springer
OF / University of Connecticut

Bats-Throws:                R-R
Height/Weight:             6-3/200
Hometown:                   New Britain, Conn.
Previously Drafted:       Twins ’08 (48)
Birthdate:                     Sept. 9, 1989

SCOUTING PROFILE: Springer was part of the same vaunted 2008 Connecticut prep class that included the Salisbury School’s Chris Dwyer (signed with Kansas City in 2009 for $1.4 million) and Anthony Hewitt (first-round pick of Philadelphia Phillies), and Amity Regional High shortstop Jason Esposito (Royals unsigned seventh-rounder, now at Vanderbilt). As a 48th-rounder that year, Springer was clearly overlooked at the time, but he has a chance to surpass the accomplishments of that high-profile trio in June, when he is expected to be scooped up in the top half of the first round. Springer put himself on the map with a breakout freshman season in 2009 for UConn, hitting .358-16-57 with a school-record 75 runs, and has only added to his profile over the next two years. As a sophomore, he hit .337-18-62, was successful on 33 of 35 stolen-base attempts and broke his own school record with 84 runs scored. With his elite combination of power and speed, Springer may rank as the top five-tool athlete in this year’s draft. He also receives high marks for his right-field arm strength and sound defensive ability, even as a center fielder. The area of Springer’s game that continues to evolve is his hitting—both his mechanics and approach. He has always swung with a lot of effort and tended to come off pitches too quickly, resulting in a long swing path that sophisticated pitchers have been able to exploit. When he gets his bat head through the zone and is direct to the ball, though, he can hit pitches a long way. He can especially punish fastballs, but tends to get over-anxious against off-speed stuff, especially with two strikes. Springer was a little slower than normal rounding into top form this spring, especially on his team’s early-season trip to California, but soon began to showcase his outstanding bat speed and huge raw power potential. He made some more minor tweaks in his approach (he was more closed with a short front stride; and quieted down some of his hand movement in his load) that got him off and running. Through 40 games, he was hitting .362-6-47 with 20 stolen bases in 26 attempts. Springer is going to have to continue to make adjustments at the plate as he progresses through the minor leagues, but of all the elite position prospects in this draft, Springer’s ceiling may be higher than anyone; however, he may have farther to go to reach it.

Projected Draft Position: First round / top 8-15 picks.

--ALLAN SIMPSON

Perfect Game Events Attended

    2006 Northeast Top Prospect Showcase
    2006 WWBA Underclass World Championship
    2007 WWBA 2007 Grads or 18u National Championship
    2007 Northeast Top Prospect Showcase
    2007 NE Top Prospects Games
    2008 Rawlings
    2008 WWBA 2008 Grads or 18u National Championship

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