Former UConn great and current Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer was named as an All-Star reserve for the American League this past weekend. The nod as an All-Star reserve gives Springer four All-Star game selections in his career — two as a starter and two as a reserve.
Springer’s selection marks his first All-Star game appearance as a member of the Blue Jays. After signing a six-year, $150 million deal after the 2020 MLB season, Springer dealt with injuries for most of 2021, playing in just under 80 games before returning to form this season. In 2022, Springer is currently hitting .250 with 17 home runs, 80 RBI and eight stolen bases — the most thefts he’s had since 2016. He’s also getting on base at a .331 clip and posting a 127 wRC+ — meaning he’s been 27 percent better than league average at the dish this season.
In year one of his deal with the Blue Jays, Springer helped Toronto to a 91-71 record but fell just short of the postseason. This year, the Blue Jays are 45-42 as of July 11 and sit 16.5 games back of the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East, but remain in the hunt for the playoffs as they are tied for the American League’s third and final Wild Card spot with Seattle.
Springer has also cemented himself as one of baseball’s best power-hitting leadoff hitters with a league-leading eight leadoff home runs this year. He now has 51 leadoff homers in his career, good enough for fourth in MLB history. With three more leadoff jacks, Springer could pass Craig Biggio and Alfonso Soriano to jump into second place, but will need to hit 30 more in his career to claim the title held by Rickey Henderson (81).
Even before this year’s All-Star nod, Springer was well on his way to cementing himself as the UConn baseball alumnus with the best MLB career. His four All-Star appearances give him more All-Star seasons than any other former Husky, eclipsing former reliever Charles Nagy, who had three in 1992, 1996 and 1999. Springer also won a World Series with the Houston Astros in 2017 and claimed World Series MVP honors, becoming the first-ever Husky to do so. He also surpassed Walt Dropo for the most home runs by a UConn alumnus in 2019 and now has 213 homers for his career.
Springer and the rest of the American League will take on the National League on Tuesday, July 19 in the 92nd MLB All-Star Game at 7:30 p.m. EDT at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.