The NY Post had their predictions for the Mets big offseason free agent signings. They went with Stroman (1/18.9m), McCann (3/27) and George Springer. While I wrote about Stroman and McCann, I haven’t wrote about Springer. Biggest questionmark isn’t Springer his bat, it’s him in CF.
Reason for me to take a look at the metrics about the 31 year old CF’er. When the Mets sign him, the expectation should be, that he will patrol CF for at least 2 seasons. So let’s take a look how he handled CF in the last couple of years.
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Springer had his best defensive year in 2019, where he collected 8 OOA overall (5 in RF and 3 in CF). Last season he was an average CF’er with 1 OOA in CF. Small samplesize, but we can conclude his last two years, he has been a solid CF’er and for that reason an improvement over our current CF’er.
If you look somewhat deeper into those numbers, you see Springer had a 92 actual catch percentage in 2019 (3% higher than the expected catch percentage). In 2020 he declined a bit to 90%, which is still slightly above average. He still goes back to balls really well which is seen in his jumps.
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Important thing to note is that Springer profiles well on his jumps. His reaction time was a little under average in 2020, but he makes up with that with his burst and route in 2020. His routes were way better than in his other years, as he showed above average route efficiency for the first time in his career. An important improvement going forward. He covers 0.6 feet more than average (0.9 in 2019).
All these numbers don’t show that he currently is in major decline on the defensive side. Sure he’s in his thirties, he is expected to decline at some point. Right now, it’s not seen in the metrics. And we could use the RH BAT, with our heavy LH line-up.
Also read: Free agent target: Charlie Morton
Photo: Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer