UConn in the MLB: George Springer Fueling Astros during Current Hot Streak

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Houston Astros’ George Springer celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a wild pitch from Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Francisco Liriano during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

There are six former UConn baseball players in Major League Baseball right now, so let’s check up on how they are performing.

George Springer OF, Houston Astros

Of all the UConn baseball alumni, none are more beloved than 2017 World Series MVP George Springer. He has put together his second consecutive All Star season in 2018, despite a couple of rough patches in April and June. Springer has really turned it on lately though, hitting .342 in September. The Astros have gone 9-1 during that time, and there is no doubt that Springer’s production out of the leadoff spot is a contributing factor. Overall this season, he is batting .259 with 20 home runs and 63 RBI in 127 games.

Matt Barnes P, Boston Red Sox

Barnes has enjoyed the best season of his career so far in 2018. Throughout most of the year, he was the most reliable reliever not named Craig Kimbrel in the Red Sox bullpen. His ERA was in the mid-two range until a couple of rocky outings at the end of August. Barnes has bounced back though, and he has two scoreless appearances in September. He will look to get back to his mid-season form as the postseason approaches. In 2018, Barnes is 5-3 with a 3.39 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 58.1 innings.

Nick Ahmed SS, Arizona Diamondbacks

Like Barnes, Ahmed is having his best season in 2018. He has set new career highs in almost every statistical category, including hits, home runs, and RBIs. Despite his team’s recent skid, Ahmed has batted .333 in his last seven games. If the Diamondbacks are going to make a push at the division crown (they are 2.5 games back as of now), he will definitely have to continue his strong play. This season, he is batting .244 with 16 home runs and 65 RBI in 137 games.

Scott Oberg P, Colorado Rockies

Oberg has been arguably the biggest surprise out of the UConn baseball alumni in 2018. After struggling mightily in his first three MLB seasons, Oberg came out dealing this year. He has been one of the most effective relief pitchers in the Rockies bullpen this year. In six appearances so far in September, he has yet to allow a run. As the Rockies cling to a small lead in the NL West, their postseason hopes depend greatly on the success of Oberg and the bullpen. So far this season, he is 7-0 with a 2.44 ERA and a 3.91 Strikeout/Walk ratio in 48 innings pitched.

John Andreoli OF, Baltimore Orioles

Andreoli made his major league debut on May 23 of this year with the Seattle Mariners at the age of 27. He appeared in only three games before being selected off waivers by the Orioles in August. Since joining the team on Aug. 20, Andreoli has accumulated nine hits, including a double, in 13 games. Overall in his first season, he is batting .222 with 1 RBI and 2 stolen bases in 16 games.

Rajai Davis OF, Cleveland Indians

Yes, Rajai Davis played baseball at UConn, just probably not the UConn you’re thinking of. He played on the UConn Avery Point baseball team for a couple of seasons before being drafted in 2001. While he will always be known for hitting the game-tying, two-run homer off of Aroldis Chapman in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, Davis has actually enjoyed a very successful major league career. The 13-year veteran is back with the Indians in 2018, and although he is not the same player he once was, he still adds great speed and a lot of experience to a young and successful team. He could definitely be valuable as a pinch runner late in games, especially in the playoffs. In 2018, Davis is batting .240 with 44 hits and 19 stolen bases in 85 games.

With almost all the former Huskies playing on potential playoff teams, it will be exciting to see which ones will make an impact in the postseason, which is rapidly approaching.


Danny Barletta is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.barletta@uconn.edu.

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