LOS ANGELES – As the Toronto Blue Jays are looking to be World Series contenders, their leadoff man George Springer, is looking like the man they were hoping to get when they signed him.
The 2017 World Series MVP has been doing well so far this season. In the 58 games he has played in (as of Saturday June 18) he is batting .271, with 12 home runs, and 33 RBI. He has a .340 on-base percentage, and a .505 slugging percentage, as well as scoring 39 runs.
The 2021 season, the first year of the 6-year, $150 million contract he signed with the Blue Jays, was a bit of a let-down season. Springer only played 78 games due to a quadriceps injury that was affecting him during last year’s spring training as well as the first couple of months of the season. He then had a minor ankle sprain in August that kept him out for two weeks, as the Blue Jays missed the playoffs.
Springer, the 11th overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft, was one of the core pieces of the Houston Astros’ success up to the 2020 season.
He was an All-Star from 2017-2019, as well as earning Silver Slugger awards in both 2017 and 2019. Of course, to top off the 2017 World Series championship, he earned his World Series MVP title for going 11-for-29 (.379 batting average), with five home runs, seven RBI, and eight extra base hits, which is a World Series record.
He is not only a great player on the field, but what people may not know is that he has done terrific work off the field. Throughout his life, Springer has had a stutter, and he has talked about how difficult it was growing up with it, and building confidence in himself.
In order to be more of a role model to kids who also have stutters, Springer has partnered with a company called SAY, a non-profit organization which “empowers and supports young people who stutter and the world that surrounds them.”
Springer wants to help change the narrative of how stuttering is viewed by the general public, and to help show kids who stutter to be more comfortable with themselves, saying “I totally embrace my stutter – it makes me who I am.”
With the Blue Jays being one of the betting favorites coming into the 2022 season, Springer has tended to be an overlooked piece in a team with young rising stars such as Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, as well as their terrific pitching staff, led by Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman getting the majority of the spotlight.
In order to achieve the success that they hope, their leadoff man will play a huge role to get on base, to the heart of their lineup to do the damage and bring him home. If he can be just as good as he was from 2017-2019, the Blue Jays will be in real good hands.