Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Springer was Twins' 48th-round pick in 2008

World Series MVP honored commitment to University of Connecticut
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- Growing up in New Britain, Conn., which was then Minnesota's Double-A affiliate, Astros star right fielder George Springer will forever be linked to the Twins.

Springer, last year's World Series Most Valuable Player, grew up idolizing former Twins center fielder Torii Hunter, even getting the chance to play catch with him before a Rock Cats game in 1998 when Springer was just 8 years old. Springer has said it was a life-changing moment for him, as it helped him realize his passion for baseball.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Growing up in New Britain, Conn., which was then Minnesota's Double-A affiliate, Astros star right fielder George Springer will forever be linked to the Twins.

Springer, last year's World Series Most Valuable Player, grew up idolizing former Twins center fielder Torii Hunter, even getting the chance to play catch with him before a Rock Cats game in 1998 when Springer was just 8 years old. Springer has said it was a life-changing moment for him, as it helped him realize his passion for baseball.

The Twins tried to capitalize on Springer's ties to the organization, selecting him in the 48th round of the 2008 MLB Draft after his impressive high school career at Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Conn. Springer, though, never came close to signing, as he wanted to honor his commitment to the University of Connecticut, which is the main reason why he wasn't taken earlier in the Draft.

"I wanted to go to school," Springer said. "I think It was an important time in my life where I felt school was the best option for me to grow physically and mentally and to learn all aspects of the game and in life. So I went."

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

Springer, whose high school was an all-boys boarding school, was considered a talent worth drafting within the first five rounds, but he let interested teams know he was leaning toward going to college. Springer's parents both attended UConn and met there in the late 1970s, and he wanted to stay closer to his family after high school.

"It had to be worth skipping out on school, and I wanted to go to school because I think that was going to be my best opportunity," Springer said. "I'm glad I went."

Springer made an immediate impact at UConn, as he was a Baseball America Freshman All-America first-teamer in 2009 and was also named the Big East Conference Rookie of the Year. After his junior year, he was named the Big East Player of the Year and a First Team All-American by entities such as Lousville Slugger, Perfect Game USA and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Springer, who hit .348/.469/.653 with 46 home runs, 53 doubles, 196 RBIs and 76 stolen bases in 184 games during his three-year career with the Huskies, was selected by the Astros with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2011 Draft, receiving a signing bonus of $2.52 million.

Springer's decision to go college paid off, and he reached the Majors in 2014, quickly establishing himself as one of Houston's cornerstones. And while the Twins would love to have Springer, it was never all that close to reality, as he was taken in a round that doesn't even exist anymore -- the Draft was shortened to 40 rounds in '12. The Twins have also never had a 48th-rounder make the Majors in club history.

"I think every kid's goal is to play professional baseball," Springer said. "As much as I wanted to, I got some great advice from my dad and a lot of people and I chose to go to school, and I'm glad I did."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, George Springer