WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- He's emerged as one of the most dynamic players in the game, with his ability to get on base, his power and his Gold Glove-level outfield play. Astros outfielder George Springer can beat you in a lot of ways, and if the Astros have their
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- He's emerged as one of the most dynamic players in the game, with his ability to get on base, his power and his Gold Glove-level outfield play. Astros outfielder George Springer can beat you in a lot of ways, and if the Astros have their way, he will be able to beat teams with his legs more in 2017.
The stolen base has yet to be as big of a weapon for Springer in the Major Leagues as it had been in the Minors. He stole 45 bases in 135 games combined between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2013. Last year, he played in 162 games for the Astros and stole nine bases. He led the league being caught stealing 10 times.
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"Some of that is just learning himself at the big league level on how to run the bases, how to get a good lead, his reaction," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's one of the most physical runners under way when he gets going. We're working on his start, working on getting a better primary lead. He stole a base the other day. He's trying to work on a few cues that will make him a little bit better. He's gifted enough to do a little bit of everything. I don't want to put limitations on him, but he's still going to run the bases pretty aggressively."
The Astros took off last year when Springer moved into the leadoff role in May, where he hit in front of Jose Altuve, Marwin Gonzalez and then Alex Bregman as the year progressed. Even from the leadoff spot, Springer didn't run much because of the hitters that were behind him.
"The situation dictates a lot," he said. "My role on this team isn't necessarily to steal bases. I have some good guys behind me who can flat-out hit and we don't necessarily want to run ourselves into an out. I'm going to run when the situation calls for it. I'm not saying I'm going to steal 40, but I understand there is a time and a place to go steal a base."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.