George Springer hasn't played in the Texas League for more than two months, but his shadow looms large over the circuit's 2013 season.
Springer, the Astros' No. 3 prospect, was named the Double-A circuit's Player of the Year on Tuesday. He hit .297 with 19 homers, 55 RBIs and 23 stolen bases in 73 games for Corpus Christi before his promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City in late June.
Springer leads the Minor Leagues with 37 home runs overall and, having already stolen 43 bases, is trying to become just the fifth player in Minor League history to have a 40/40 season.
His Corpus Christi ballclub, first in the league with an 80-53 record, also led the way with five players named to the 2013 Texas League Postseason All-Star Team. Along with Springer, the Hooks are represented by catcher Max Stassi, third baseman Jonathan Meyer and right-handers Michael Foltynewicz and David Martinez.
Martinez, who joined Springer in Oklahoma City earlier this month, was named Pitcher of the Year. The 26-year-old hurler went 14-2 with a league-best 2.02 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 26 appearances (18 starts) for the Hooks. No one else in the Texas League has more than 10 wins.
First-half North champion Tulsa (Rockies) contributed three hitters and one pitcher, while playoff-bound San Antonio (Padres) had three pitchers and one hitter honored.
The league's top hitter (.350) and on-base performer (.452), Anthony Aliotti of Midland, was named the All-Star first baseman. The All-Star designated hitter is Frisco's Brett Nicholas, who leads the league with 89 RBIs.
Arkansas (Angels), Frisco (Rangers), Midland (A's) and Springfield (Cardinals) are represented by two players apiece. Northwest Arkansas (Royals) was shut out.
San Antonio skipper Rich Dauer was named Manager of the Year. His club has both scored and allowed the fewest runs in the league en route to what is currently its second-best record, 3 1/2 games behind Corpus Christi. Hooks pitching coach Gary Ruby was honored as the Mike Coolbaugh Texas League Coach of the Year.
2013 Texas League Postseason All-Star Team
|Max Stassi||C||Corpus Christi||HOU|
|Jonathan Meyer||3B||Corpus Christi||HOU|
|Reymond Fuentes||OF||San Antonio||SD|
|George Springer*||OF||Corpus Christi||HOU|
|Mike Foltynewicz||RHP||Corpus Christi||HOU|
|Jeremy McBryde||RHP||San Antonio||SD|
|David Martinez**||RHP||Corpus Christi||HOU|
|Kevin Quackenbush||RHP||San Antonio||SD|
|Keyvius Sampson||RHP||San Antonio||SD|
|Rich Dauer||Manager||San Antonio||SD|
|Gary Ruby***||Coach||Corpus Christi||HOU|
* Player of the Year
** Pitcher of the Year
*** Mike Coolbaugh Texas League Coach of the Year