A closer look at why George Springer has lost his way at the plate

The 34-year-old has been appalling for the Blue Jays, as a result he's on track for the worst production levels of his career
Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays
Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

The 2024 season hasn't gone according to plan for George Springer so far. He was removed from the leadoff spot prior to last Saturday's game against the Rays by Davis Schneider and moved to the 6 hole, which is the lowest he's batted in a lineup since his debut season in 2014 with the Astros.

Currently, Springer is batting .194, with 3 home runs, 8 RBI and a .561 OPS, the lowest on the team. Consequently, this puts him on track for 11 homers, 28 RBI and an expected batting average of .251. Therefore, let's take a deeper dive as to why Springer has struggled immensely this season.

A deeper look at George Springer's 2024 struggles

According to Baseball Savant, he simply isn't hitting for power, he ranks in the 18th percentile in average exit velocity, 86.8 MPH and maximum exit velocity of 109.7 MPH. He's in the 28th percentile in hard-hit rate, (34.8%), 25th in barrel percentage, (5.2%), 42nd for bat speed and just the 2nd percentile for batting run value, (-10.)

All of these are way below his career averages. He also isn't doing enough damage on pitch types, for example, he's doing the least amount of damage the slider, for which he has a run value of -4. and a batting average of .129. He is also struggling to hit fastballs, posting a run value of -3, which is down from 2023. the cutter has seen a decrease in run value, going from 2 in 2023 to -3 in 2024 and a hard hit rate of just 15.4%. But, the curveball has seen the biggest decrease in run value, going from 8 in 2023 to 2 in 2024. However, his strikeout rate is at a career low (16.8%) and he's in the 70th percentile for walks, 10.3%, so it hasn't been all bad.

Springer received a vote of confidence from his general manager Ross Atkins during his media availability on Saturday, who believes he is very much committed and has the desire to improve. Although Atkins stressed the need for the right fielder to work on hitting the ball up in the air and he didn't rule out a return to the top of the lineup in the near future. If Springer is going to return to the top of the lineup, where the Blue Jays believe he does the most damage, he will need to increase his hard-hit rate, increase his exit velocity and do more damage on the slider, fastball, cutter and curveball.

Atkins and manager John Schneider state that he's been putting in the work to make necessary adjustments and thankfully for Springer there is plenty of time left in the season for him to turn his fortunes around and get out of his slump. Or, as the numbers suggest is he entering a phase of timely regression midway through his six-year $150M contract which would be detrimental to the organization? Only time will tell whether the work he's putting in pays off.