As one of the top-rated position players in the draft, George Springer is attracting a lot of…
MLB Draft Scouting Report: George Springer
Events Scouted: Cape Cod League, Team USA Trials
Springer is what scouts refer to as a physical specimen. He's lean, wiry and has the type of frame that should remain athletic through the years. He's has long limbs, is high waisted and is quick twitch muscle type player. Physically he resembles a young Alex Rodriguez. As far as baseball prototypes go, Springer is as close as you can get. The raw physical strength is there to create tremendous leverage at the plate, but he also maintains the agility to play center field. He's physically mature and already has the strength of a big league player.
Despite all his athleticism and loaded toolbox, it's the bat that will make Springer a potential superstar big league player. He does it in somewhat of an unorthodox way, however. Springer has lightning fast bat speed, but is a max effort swinger all around. His swing has a lot of upper and lower half movement and involvement. But, for me, the head still stays still and on the ball enough despite this added movement. Ryan Braun of the Brewers is very similar to Springer mechanically speaking with his high back swing and tremendous torque that goes into hitting the ball. If you can look beyond the wild look of his big swing, you can see a hitter who uses his hands very well and a hitter who has a very direct swing path and stays inside the ball exceptionally well.
At the next level Springer is the type that will also profile very similarly to Braun. Gary Sheffield is another strong comparison given the max effort approach and lightning fast hands. Like both these ML stars, Springer has superstar upside at the dish. For anyone near the field, awareness is key as Springer hits dangerous line drives. A search and destroy type hitter, he stands upright at the plate and attacks. In other words, you won't see him cheated too often on a swing. And, as out of control as he may look at times, this is a potential .300 hitter. The hand-eye coordination and ability to consistently square up any type of pitch make him a constant threat. Swings and misses will be an issue he'll have to contend with and it's never something that will leave his game completely. But, the numbers he has the ability to put up outweigh the potential strikeout numbers.
Springer hits the ball probably with more authority than anyone in this draft class. And, even though his swing is actually directed toward hitting line drives, like Sheffield, he's going to hit a boatload of home runs at the next level purely on how hard he hits the baseball. He has legitimate 30+ home run power. Many of those home runs will be of the screaming line drive variety. Most of his power is on the pull side, but he does show flashes of willingness to use the whole field a bit more often. And, as far as transitioning to wood bats, he didn't appear to miss a beat on the Cape or with Team USA. In terms of a hitting profile, think Gary Sheffield in terms of approach and potential numbers.
All that power and all that strength and Springer still gives a club plus speed. Springer is a 6 runner in the long term and likely will be able to stick in center field. And, while he's not likely to be a prolific base stealer given his hitting prowess, he could steal 25 bases at the big league level. Springer is also a pretty smart runner on the base paths and has a solid feel of taking the extra base when he can get it. He runs better underway and is particularly quick first to third.
Considering his speed and athleticism, it's no shocker that Springer is a very rangy and reliable presence in the outfield. He has an excellent chance to stick in center field for the long haul, but he could also be an elite right fielder considering his speed and above-average throwing arm. Springer showed off consistently on-line throws on the summer circuit, and it's an arm that plays better than average at all three outfield spots.
Power, speed, athleticism, and explosiveness. These words all go with George Springer. He's a potential dynamic player with plus power, plus speed, and a player that has the ability to carry a team. Given his big swing and propensity for the strikeout, there's a bit of a risk that comes along with drafting the UConn star, however. That risk isn't a very big one though, as his swing flaws are minor and the talent is just that overwhelming. If things click, this is the highest upside position player in the 2011 draft class.
Draft Projection: First Round, Top 15 Picks
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