George Springer is a huge game changer on and off the field.
At this point in the season, the 2022 All-Star is batting .266, with 19 home runs, and 57 RBI. He has an on-base percentage of .343 and a slugging percentage of .471.
The 32-year-old is in his second season with the team north of the border. He signed a six-year, $150 million contract with them back in January of 2021. The signing was essentially a perfect match for both sides. Springer, a former World Series MVP was in the peak of his prime, looking to get paid while still being on a playoff contender. He also wanted to separate himself from the stench of the Astros cheating scandal. The Blue Jays, having a young, exciting team, needed a good veteran with playoff experience to help guide this team to the promised land.
Last year was a lost cause since he was out for a majority of the season with various injuries, only playing 78 games. The Blue Jays ended up falling just short of the playoffs by one game. He has so far played 103 games, earned himself an All-Star bid, and has been doing his job making sensational plays in the outfield, and has been strong as the team’s leadoff man in the lineup, as the team’s playoff hopes are alive and well.
They ended up making a change in leadership back in July, as the team fired their manager Charlie Montoyo and made John Schneider the interim manager. When a change in power happens in the middle of the season, that normally means a team is packing it in and calling the season a lost cause. But this team is still very much in the mix, and as one of the leaders, Springer is a huge reason why this team has not completely fallen off the rails.
“Way Better. On paper, it speaks for itself. His presence and his energy, then obviously his ability, he’s up at the top of the order and it makes a big difference,” said Schneider when asked about Springer’s presence in the lineup and clubhouse, and how much of a difference maker he is. “I’m looking forward to him being able to contribute off the bat. We’re not asking him to be a world beater, but just be himself.”
Many people may see Springer as an elite leadoff man, but it’s important to understand that his leadership is what makes him a huge asset. For instance, when there were no drinks in the dugout during a batting practice back in late March, Springer decided to run to the clubhouse and get drinks for him and his teammates. It’s a small gesture, but just the fact that he’s always trying to help his teammates, from getting on base, to just getting them a drink, just shows how priceless he is.
This team is already filled with talent from top to bottom, from Vlad Guerrero Jr., Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Bo Bichette, etc. This team needed a leader that can help guide these young players, and even though he’s just being himself, Springer is that missing piece to the puzzle.
With about a month left to the season, the Blue Jays currently sit in the final Wild Card slot, with their division rivals in the Orioles only a game and a half behind, breathing down their necks. The Blue Jays entered this season as one of the favorites to win it all, so their 70-59 record is somewhat underwhelming, but they are in the toughest division in baseball. Springer is already doing his part, so it’s time for the team to really put it in high gear and show the rest of the league why they were labeled as World Series contenders in the first place.