Toronto Blue Jays 2023 Season Preview: OF George Springer
Next up in our Toronto Blue Jays 2023 season preview series is outfielder George Springer.
Addison Barger, Anthony Bass, Chris Bassitt, Brandon Belt, José Berríos, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Matt Chapman, Adam Cimber, Hagen Danner, Santiago Espinal, Matt Gage, Yimi García, Kevin Gausman, Chad Green, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Thomas Hatch, Spencer Horwitz, Danny Jansen, Leo Jimenez, Kevin Kiermaier, Yusei Kikuchi, Alejandro Kirk, Otto Lopez, Nathan Lukes, Alek Manoah, Orelvis Martinez, Tim Mayza, Whit Merrifield, Nate Pearson, Zach Pop, Trevor Richards, Jordan Romano, Hyun Jin Ryu
Before we get into this, here's a quick refresher on the projection models we'll be looking at.
STEAMER: 635 PA, 31 HR, 78 RBI, 90 R, 14 SB, .258/.339/.479, 133 wRC+, 4.2 WAR
ZiPS DC: 595 PA, 30 HR, 89 RBI, 91 R, 10 SB, .262/.345/.491, 138 wRC+, 4.8 WAR
THE BAT: 578 PA, 25 HR, 75 RBI, 80 R, 9 SB, .256/.337/.460, 128 wRC+, 3.2 WAR
2022 stats: 583 PA, 25 HR, 76 RBI, 89 R, 14 SB, .267/.342/.472, 132 wRC+, 4.2 WAR
Note: ZiPS DC projections are pro-rated for the playing time indicated by Roster Resource Depth Charts on FanGraphs.
Springer, 33, is coming off a rough 2022 season health-wise.
After struggling with a persistent bone spur in his elbow for most of the season, he suffered a concussion and sprained shoulder in the season-ending collision with Bo Bichette during the Wild Card Series.
But good news for Jays fans, Springer reports that he is fully healthy and ready to go for the season.
Despite the nagging elbow pain, the talented outfielder still played 133 games and put up some impressive numbers last year, earning an All-Star nod in the process. The projection systems don't see him slowing down heading into 2023.
Steamer is the highest on Springer's potential impact, giving him an almost identical stat line for this season but with more home runs.
ZiPS isn't far behind in it's belief that we'll see another typical Springer-type season, bumping up both his home run and RBI totals from last year.
THE BAT is more conservative across the board, projecting fewer plate appearances and reduced counting stats, even dropping his WAR down a whole point to 3.2.
Both Steamer and ZiPS predict a WAR over four, at 4.2 and 4,8, respectively, illustrating Springer's continued value to the Jays on both sides of the ball.
There are a lot of red Stacast sliders on Springer's Baseball Savant page. His Max EV (maximum exit velocity) of 113.6 mph from last season put him in the 92nd percentile and shows he still has elite power.
Even though Springer put up his lowest Max EV, and his Barrel% was also down last year, we can chalk that up to the elbow problems that visibly affected him at the plate. Now that he's healthy, we should see him return that rate to the mid-teens again, as he had from 2019-2021.
Hopefully, the Jays can keep Springer healthy this season. With the added outfield reinforcements of Kevin Keirmaier and Daulton Varsho, the four-time All-Star should have less wear and tear on his body playing right field. Plus, he'll give the Jays an elite corner outfield defender for the first time in recent memory.