Can George Springer Keep up his Hot Streak?

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George Springer has spent a significant amount of time on the injured list this season with a right quad strain, but has been off to a hot stretch since he was activated on June 22nd. He’s hit .295/.377/.630 in 39 games since his return.

His strikeout rate is on the higher side for his standards at 25%, but he is also walking 11% of the time, which is 3% better than league average. Springer has also had very good quality of contact since his return. His hard hit rate on the year is 41% (6% above average), and his average exit velocity is 90.3 mph, the highest of his career.

Springer is hitting the most fly balls of his career, and his isolated power is the highest of his career at .335. Despite playing in seven less games so far than he did in 2020, he has the same amount of home runs (14). His barrel percentage is the highest of his career as well, at 17%.

Will Springer be able to keep up this performance?

Springer is setting some pretty high expectations, will he be able to keep up these numbers through the end of the season?

When looking at Springer’s expected statistics, his expected slugging and batting average are less than his actuals.

xSLG

xBA

0.527

(-0.089 less than actual)

0.244

(-.0.036 less than actual)

The sample size for Springer this season is small, but it is still very possible and likely that we see some regression for Springer as we approach the end of the season. Since his June return Springer’s actual OPS is 1.007, which is the highest of Springer’s career. While Springer is certainly capable of having an elite OPS (in 2019 his OPS was .974), it is unlikely he will be able to maintain this hot streak through September.

If Springer fully regressed to his expected slugging his OPS would be .894, which would be among the lowest of his career. But even if he regressed to an .894 slugging, he would still be a major offensive contributor for the remainder of the season. Because Springer has consistently proven he can put up elite OPSs, and because he got a late start to consistently playing this season, I believe Springer’s actual OPS at the end of the year will be closer to .910.

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Another reason why we might see some regression from Springer is because he is almost exclusively doing damage against fastballs this season.

Pitch Type

Number of Extra Base Hits

SLG

xSLG

Fastballs

21

0.844

0.707

Breaking

5

0.440

0.384

Offspeed

0

0.150

0.104

He has 21 extra base hits against fastballs, compared to five against breaking pitches and zero against off-speed pitches. Pitchers have already started throwing Springer more breaking pitches, but I have a feeling he might be seeing even more of them, as well as fewer fastballs as the season progresses. He will have to make a mid-season adjustment in order to keep up with the varying pitch mixes.

That being said, Springer has a very patient plate approach and a good eye, which will force pitches to throw to him in-zone. Springer has consistently proven throughout his career that he is capable of making adjustments and putting up elite numbers, so he should have no problem commanding the batter’s box and continuing to support the Blue Jays’ line-up.

So while Springer may not be able to maintain his incredible 1.007 OPS, he certainly will continue to be an impact bat in the Blue Jays line-up. Springer hits the ball well, has a good eye, and is doing all kinds of damage against fastballs. If he can find a way to start connecting more against breaking and off-speed pitches he will truly be unstoppable.