April 16, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - Former UConn baseball star George Springer ('11) was called up to the Houston Astros from AAA Oklahoma City on Wednesday (April 16) and joined fellow ex-Husky Mike Olt ('10), a member of the Chicago Cubs, to give UConn two players on major league rosters.
It marks the first time since 2010 that Connecticut has had a pair of major leaguers at the same time. In '10, Jesse Carlson ('04) was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays and Jeff Fulchino ('01) was on the Astros' pitching staff. Springer and Olt become the first two UConn players from the Jim Penders era to be in the majors at the same time.
Springer burst onto the national scene in 2013 with a torrid season in the minor leagues. Across the AA and AAA levels, the outfielder posted a .303/.411/.600 slash line and hit 37 home runs with 108 RBIs and 45 stolen bases. Among his many accolades, Springer was named the 2013 Texas League MVP and received the MiLBY Award for Offensive Player of the Year.
Coming into the 2014 season, Springer was ranked the No. 3 prospect in the Houston system and the No. 21 prospect in all of baseball, per MLB.com. His promotion comes after a red-hot start in Oklahoma City this year, where he hit .353 with three home runs, nine RBIs and four stolen bases in 13 games.
Olt was acquired by the Cubs in a late-season trade in 2013, and he has served as Chicago's primary third baseman while hitting in the middle of the order in the early portion of the year. In 12 games, Olt is batting .231 with two home runs and five RBIs in his second big league stint.
While at UConn, Olt and Springer were two of the most prolific hitters to ever don the National Flag Blue and White. They currently both rank in the top-five in UConn history in home runs, RBIs and total bases. Springer is Connecticut's home run king with 46 career long balls, while Olt set the single season record with 23 round-trippers in 2010. Both were drafted in the first round of the MLB Draft following their junior seasons, with Olt going 49th overall in the supplementary first round to the Rangers in 2010 and Springer 11th overall to the Astros in 2011.
With former Huskies Nick Ahmed ('11), Matt Barnes ('11) and Greg Nappo ('11) currently at the AAA level, 2014 could see UConn challenge the program record of three players in the majors simultaneously. That was achieved in 1961 and most recently in 2003, when Charles Nagy ('88), Pete Walker ('90) and Jason Grabowski ('97) were all active.