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Big inning adds to Springer's legend06/02/2013 10:49 PM ET
By Jonathan Raymond / Special to MLB.com
It just illustrates the kind of season George Springer is having when, in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader, he matched his season high of five RBIs -- in the first inning.
Considered a five-tool athlete coming into the Draft in 2011, Springer appears to be consolidating those tools in the Double-A Texas League.
On Sunday, the center fielder went 3-for-5 with a home run and a double that yielded five RBIs in Corpus Christi's 10-run first, and he scored three times as the Hooks went on to edge the Arkansas Travelers, 13-9.
Combined with his performance in his team's 5-3 win in 10 innings in twinbill opener, Springer finished 4-for-7 with six RBIs on the day.
"I'm not in that position if not for the at-bats of my teammates who were on base," Springer said of his first-inning exploits in Game 2. "It's one of those things where I'm just happy to help us win. Obviously that was a big first inning for us, scoring 10 runs.
"It just started with [Ben] Orloff getting on base and then [Jose] Martinez got a hit and then I got a hit and it kept spiraling from there. One of those things where as a team you feel good, you go out and keep having quality at-bats."
The strong showing across the two games padded the already impressive resume Houston's third-ranked prospect has built up this season. With the home run, Springer took sole possession atop the Minor League home run leaderboard with 17.
His .659 slugging percentage and 1.057 OPS both rank fifth across the Minors. His 47 RBIs put him in a tie for seventh.
He's also walking a little bit more. In 13.92 percent of plate appearances this year (as opposed to 11.20 percent last season), he sports a .417 on-base percentage. His average is .310 over 53 games and he has 17 steals in 21 attempts for an 81 percent success rate.
But for Springer, the real success has been to contribute offensively.
"[The Travelers] are an extremely talented team and it showed. They're capable of scoring a lot of runs themselves, so you gotta have the mentality to keep swinging, keep scoring and that's what we did," he said. "It's great [to win both games], especially on a big travel day. It's always tough enough to just win one, the fact that we won two the way we did, it's just a great feeling."
Springer was also closely paying attention to the University of Connecticut NCAA regional game against Virginia Tech on Sunday. He had an ongoing bet with his former teammate Austin Wates -- now at Triple-A Oklahoma City and himself a Virginia Tech alum -- with the loser agreeing to have the winning school's logo painted on his chest.
Alas, while UConn won on Friday, they lost the rematch Sunday, leaving Springer and Wates with a draw.
"We were just having some fun between teammates, I'll still probably have a shirt sent to him," Springer joked.
Martinez, Corpus Christi's second baseman, was the other star of Sunday's doubleheader, going 7-for-9 between the two games with a double, four runs and two RBIs. No. 13 Astros prospect Domingo Santana homered twice and tripled on the afternoon.