The Astros have recently been the laughingstock of baseball, losing 100 games or more in each of the last three seasons. Houston has not been to the playoffs since 2005, the year they lost to the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.
All that losing made the Astros the first team in major league history to have the first overall pick in the MLB draft for three consecutive years.
Good things may be on the horizon for Houston, whose front office includes a "Nerd Cave" that's led by former blackjack dealer turned rocket scientist, turned sabermetrics analyst (or as the Astros call it director of decision sciences) Sig Mejdal and general manager Jeff Luhnow.
Springer, who has 14 home runs and 39 RBI in only 59 games this season, along with major league hits leader Jose Altuve, still have some work to do as Houston sits at 33-45, good for last place in the American League West.
Check out the Sports Illustrated print edition this week (subscribe here) for SI.com writer Ben Reiter’s piece on how scouting and modern-day metrics are potentially building the Astros toward championship contention in the future.