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Springer homers to reach 30-30 mark08/10/2013 2:05 AM ET
By Robert Emrich / MiLB.com
George Springer joined a very elite group on Friday night.
The Astros' No. 3 prospect slugged a two-run homer to reach the 30-30 mark and lead Triple-A Oklahoma City to a 6-3 triumph over Las Vegas at Cashman Field.
Springer already had 37 stolen bases when he came to the plate with one out and a runner at first base in the fifth inning. He sent an 0-1 pitch from 51s starter Matthew Fox over the wall in left-center field for his 30th longball of the season.
"It was just something I could hit early in the count and there was a guy on first and I was trying to drive the ball somewhere and ended up getting a pitch I could handle," Springer said.
"I've been starting to press a little. [The 30th homer is] in the back of your mind as a hitter and now it's something that I'm proud of, but I've still got 20-something games to go and have to help the team win."
Springer became the first Minor Leaguer to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season since then-Athletics prospect Grant Desme slugged 33 roundtrippers and stole 42 bases in 2009. Springer opened the season with Double-A Corpus Christi, where he went yard 19 times while swiping 23 bases. He has 11 homers and registered his 15th steal for the RedHawks in the seventh inning.
"It's something special," the University of Connecticut product said. "It just shows that there's a lot of hard work that I've put in from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City. It shows that the hard work pays off, and now you just have to keep going."
The 23-year-old outfielder had struggled in August, batting .174 in seven games before going 1-for-2 a pair of walks, three RBIs and two runs scored on Friday.
"I got with my hitting coach [Leon Roberts] today and we talked and just decided to slow everything down," Springer said. "I've been getting ahead of myself, getting myself out and not staying within myself. We talked about slowing it down and letting your instincts play."
Overall, MLB.com's No. 26 overall prospect has a slash line of .303/.410/.597 and is tied for sixth in the Minor Leagues with a 1.007 OPS in 113 games.
Springer helped Bobby Duran earn his first PCL win after the RedHawks starter allowed three runs on six hits over five innings.
Mets No. 2 prospect Travis d'Arnaud doubled and scored a run in his first game for the 51s since April 17.