HOUSTON -- The best two catches Astros right fielder George Springer has made in his career have come at the wall -- his amazing over-the-fence catch to rob Leonys Martin of the Rangers of a walk-off grand slam last April and a similar catch last month in which he robbed Jose Abreu of the White Sox of a home run.
Springer's diving catch in the sixth inning of Friday's 4-2 loss to the Reds to rob Adam Duvall of a hit wasn't as dramatic as pulling back a home run, but it was just as impressive considering the athleticism and speed it took to make the play.
"For a non-fence-type catch, it's as impressive as you'll see," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "With the distance he covered, he had no margin for error. He had to go at the perfect angle and launch his body at the perfect time. It's away from his open side, so he's even got to reach across [his] body. ... You've got to hit it out most of the time to get it past our outfield with the type of room they can cover, and George's probably ranks No. 1 of the year so far."
According to Statcast™, Springer covered 72.8 feet and reached a max speed of 17.3 mph, with a route efficiency of 94.8 percent, before launching himself into the air in the gap in right-center to corral Duvall's fly ball.
Center fielder Carlos Gomez, who made a nice running catch in the ninth, had a front-row view to Springer's gem.
"Unbelievable," Gomez said. "You see me jumping around. It's exciting. He stayed in the air for a long time. It's a good play."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.