George Springer had a pretty exciting 2013 season. But he -- and Houston fans -- will probably be more psyched about 2014.
The Astros' No. 3 prospect will likely be one of the club's starting outfielders during the upcoming season, according to GM Jeff Luhnow. It might not be to start the season, but the Connecticut native is expected to make his debut at Minute Maid Park in 2014.
"I think George Springer will be a starting outfielder in Houston this year," Luhnow told MLB.com. "Whether it happens Opening Day or sometime during the season, he's a special talent."
A first-round pick in 2011, Springer flirted with a 40-40 season, finishing with 37 longballs and 45 stolen bases. MLB.com's No. 21 overall prospect drove in 108 runs, drew 83 walks and compiled a 1.010 OPS in 135 Minor League games between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Oklahoma City. Entering his second big league Spring Training, Springer has already moved on from last season.
"That's in the past and this is 2014, and I have a lot to live up to, in my standards," he told MLB.com. "Just go out there and have fun and see how hard I can hit it."
It is likely that Springer will move over to right field with Houston's acquisition of Dexter Fowler to patrol center field. With relatively little experience in the corner, it's possible that the 24-year-old could find himself back in Triple-A to sharpen his skills in right field, though it's not expected to be a difficult transition.
"He'll get reps out there in the spring," Luhnow told MLB.com. "Yeah, there's a difference between center field and right, and he's got plenty of arm to play right and his instincts are really good, and he learns quickly. I don't think it's going to be a big transition. It's not like taking an infielder and putting him in the outfield."
Springer has played 18 games in right field over three Minor League seasons.