First-round pick Springer reports to camp early

First-round pick Springer reports to camp early

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- One of the first position players to arrive Monday was 2011 first-round pick George Springer, an outfielder who played at the University of Connecticut. Springer was invited to Major League camp, but isn't in the running to make the big league club.

Still, Springer understands the importance of taking full advantage of the opportunity.

"I don't report until [Sunday], but I'm getting here a week early and watching these guys and getting to learn," said Springer, who is ranked No. 3 by MLB.com on the Astros' Top 20 Prospects list. "I'm not quite sure [what to expect]."

Springer, who was drafted No. 11 overall in last June's First-Year Player Draft, batted .179 (5-for-28) in eight games for Tri-City of the New York-Penn League after he was selected as Houston's top pick. He continued working out in the winter to prepare for spring camp.

"It was extremely productive," he said. "I got bigger, faster, stronger, and now I'm just waiting to start playing."