HOUSTON -- Another top prospect is now just a phone call away from joining the Astros.
Center fielder George Springer, the 2011 first-round Draft pick who had a terrific first half at Double-A Corpus Christi, was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday along with right-handed pitcher Jake Buchanan. The pair will join the RedHawks after participating in the Texas League All-Star Game on Tuesday at Northwest Arkansas.
Springer -- Houston's No. 3 prospect, according to MLB.com -- said he will fly to Oklahoma City on Thursday. It's there that he will join the team's No. 1 prospect, first baseman Jonathan Singleton, in what should be a impressive combination in the middle of the lineup. Top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart is also in Oklahoma City.
"I'm excited about it," Springer said. "It's another opportunity and another chapter, and I'm looking forward to it."
Springer was the leading run producer in the Texas League during the first half of the season, hitting .297 with 19 home runs and 55 RBIs for the Hooks. At the time of his promotion, he ranked among the league's leaders in batting average (sixth), home runs (tied for first), RBIs (tied for second), stolen bases (23, tied second), hits (81, tied for fourth), doubles (20, fifth) and runs scored (56, first).
Springer fell one homer short of becoming the second Hooks player to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in a season. Drew Sutton hit 20 home runs and stole 20 bases in 2008. Springer plans to go to Oklahoma City with the same approach.
"I've just got to continue with the same thing, keep hitting the ball hard and string together good, quality at-bats and results will happen," Springer said. "Don't press. Go out and play."
Buchanan helped anchor a pitching staff that carried the Hooks for much of the first half, going 7-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 18 games, 13 of them starts. He was named Astros Minor League Pitcher of the Month in May after allowing no earned runs and posting a 4-0 record. Buchanan led the Texas League in WHIP (0.93), and he ranked fourth in opponents' batting average (.226) and fifth in innings pitched (82).
In 2012, the 23-year-old North Carolina State product went 5-6 with a 5.00 ERA in 19 starts before moving to the bullpen. Houston selected Buchanan in the eighth round of the 2010 Draft. He earned the Astros' Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award in 2011 after going 5-10 with a 3.91 ERA for Class A Advanced Lancaster.