We already know that George Springer won't be starting the season with the Astros, but on Saturday in the Alamodome, he gave the big club a show to remember.
The Astros' No. 3 prospect went 3-for-3 with a home run, two RBIs, three runs scored, two walks and a stolen base to lead his club to a 13-6 exhibition win over the Rangers in San Antonio.
Springer's homer off Rangers starter Joe Saunders immediately followed Jesus Guzman's own two-run shot in the first inning. The round-tripper -- a no-doubter to center field -- was Springer's first of the spring after entering the day homerless through his first 41 plate appearances.
His three-hit performance was also a first and pushed his spring average up to .250 from .182. The 24-year-old finished spring play with a .250/.413/.361 slash line with the homer, four RBIs and three steals in 35 games.
The former University of Connecticut standout famously flirted with the 40-40 Minor League club last season, finishing with 37 homers and 45 steals between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Oklahoma City. Although those numbers seemed to prove his readiness for the Majors, the Astros reassigned Springer to the Pacific Coast League this spring. The move is widely seen as a means of delaying the potential star's service-time clock.
Still, the organization believes Springer's latest foray into Triple-A will do him some good both at the plate and in the field.
"He's going to get more acclimated to right while he's there; that's going to be a big thing," Astros director of player development Quinton McCracken told MiLB.com. "He's also going to be trying to extend his at-bats a little, fight off the pitches he had difficulty getting to last year. The main thing is to get even more polished so he's ready to get going immediately when he gets to the Majors."
Springer and the RedHawks get their PCL season started Thursday at Round Rock.