If there’s one thing that can impact a player’s ability, besides switching to three different home ballparks in one single season, it’s injuries. And unfortunately, George Springer’s first year as a Toronto Blue Jay was filled with them.
Springer was brought to the team to bring some needed leadership and experience to the young core. While 2021 was definitely exciting with his debut, it was also filled with frustrations with numerous injuries sidelining him for weeks, and the inconsistent playing time causing periods of extreme success followed by periods of disappointment.
It does make you wonder what kind of season he will have this year, assuming he can stay healthy enough to play most, if not all of the season (which hopefully starts on time). After all, he only played about half of the 2021 season and with a shortened 60-game season in 2020, Springer hasn’t played anything close to a full 162-game year since his last All-Star season in 2019.
Springer’s best year of his professional career was back in 2019, finishing the year with a BA of .292, 96 RBI and 39 HR across 122 games. The 2020 shortened season saw him hit .265 and he finished this past year with a .264 BA.
If consistent playing time is the key to Springer’s success (which I suspect it is), then we could be seeing another year massive year offensively, similar to his 2019 season. Assuming he also plays in the outfield everyday and continues to hit in his regular spot at the top of the lineup where he seems to thrive the most, we could expect his numbers to be around .290 BA, 100 RBI and 40 HR. Ambitious? Maybe. But he is certainly capable of it as we have seen throughout his bursts of success this past year. This Jays team has proven it’s possible, with four players surpassing the 100 RBI mark last season. And if Springer had gotten that full season under his belt, I’m sure that he would have been Blue Jay number five to join in on the 100 milestone.
Springer is gearing up for a big year as well, with reports saying that he is working out daily with fellow teammates Cavan Biggio and Ross Stripling in Houston and that Springer and fellow Jays have loose plans to start live-batting practice on their own in a few weeks if the lockout continues.
Though the beginning of this 2022 season and when it begins may seem uncertain, I have no doubt that whenever it starts, we can expect big things from George Springer. He is the 2017 World Series MVP after all, and the Jays knew what they were doing when they spent a whopping $150 million on him.
What do you expect from Springer this season?