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KEYE Catches Up with George Springer
Updated: Saturday, August 24 2013, 02:58 PM CDT
While the Astros are in the midst of a historically bad major league season, Houston is also on the verge of making history on the minor league level. But this bit of history would be much more pleasant to Astros fans.
Houston prospect George Springer is just three home runs shy of joining the exclusive 40/40 club: 40 or more home runs in a season, along with 40 or more stolen bases. No minor league player has accomplished this feat since Len Tucker did it in 1956. Entering Saturday, Springer has 37 home runs and 41 stolen bases in a combined season with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks and Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks.
KEYE TV caught up with the Astros 23 year old prospect to discuss his pursuit of 40/40, winning a minor league championship and whether or not he is growing impatient waiting on the call to the big leagues.
KEYE TV: How much does the pursuit of 40/40 come up?
Springer: Just in there (the clubhouse), yeah but it's nothing - it's just one of those things where I can't control it now and you just go out and play. Whatever happens happens.
KEYE TV: What would that mean to you? To become the first 40/40 guy in the minors since 1956?
Springer: I don't really know. I think it would obviously be something special. I guess it would show that hard work pays off. As of now, I'm not there, so just go out and play.
KEYE TV: Do you hear from a lot of Astros fans? Do they ask you why you're not in the majors?
Springer: No. I'm not on Twitter or anything like that so I don't really know what's happening. I don't know. That's not up to me. I just go out and play. At the end of the day, it is what it is.
KEYE TV: At what point did you buy into the plan/process to keep you in the minor leagues for all of 2013?
Springer: That's kind of how it's always been. You don't ever expect anything to happen. You just go out and you play and you let the results, I guess you could say, speak for themselves. Like I've said before, whenever he (Astros GM Jeff Luhnow) thinks I'm ready to go, that will be my time.
KEYE TV: With the struggles of the big league club, what's the mindset of the minor league guys in this organization?
Springer: We've obviously got some talent in the organization, starting from here all the way down. We've got some teams who are in first place. It's just a matter of going out and you play hard. It's a positive attitude. We understand how to win at this point in our career and you just go out and you play and you have a lot of fun.
KEYE TV: Are you a patient person? Is that how you would describe yourself?
Springer: I'm pretty passive. I'm not very impatient. I'm a relaxed, laid back kind of guy.
KEYE TV: How excited are you for next year? Many expect you to be with the big league club. Is it hard to not look ahead to 2014?
Springer: No. As of now, we are in the playoff push here and we're trying to win a championship down here. You don't think about that right now. You cross that bridge when you get there. So as of now, I'm just going out and having fun and enjoying this.
KEYE TV: What would a Triple-A championship mean to this franchise?
Springer: I think it would be extremely special. But at the same time, you have to go out and you have to work. It's not just going to be handed to down. At the same time, it shows that there's a lot of talent in the organization.
KEYE TV: Now just (three) home runs shy of 40/40, is it something you try and block out to keep from putting pressure on yourself?
Springer: Just try to go hit something hard. You really can't control how you hit it, but you can control what you swing at and whatever happens happens.
by Adam Winkler