Beyond the Boxscore is a must-read blog for sabermetric topics. Justin Perline recently wrote a BTB piece entitled "Who Has Been the Most Powerful Hitter in Baseball?"
Let's boil this down for Astros' fans: George Springer is No. 9 on the list of most powerful hitters in the major leagues. Perline composed his own formula for rating hitter power, and the new metric ranks Springer near to the top. Astros' fans can get excited with this observation in the article:
Rookie George Springer already makes the top ten at age 24. Imagine what he will be able to do in his prime.
The formula for power used in the article is a combination of several different measures: average fly ball distance, home run distance, home run rate per batted ball, and percentage of home runs classified as no doubters. Some subjectivity in selecting and weighting the measures is unavoidable, but I think this formula is reasonable.
In something of a surprise, the Blue Jays' Juan Francisco tops the list as the most powerful hitter. Francisco, who was available on waivers last year, has been a pleasant addition for the Jays. The Jays have maximized Francisco's production by platooning him. This year he has a .908 OPS against right hand pitchers and a dreadful .356 OPS against left hand pitchers. The Cuban export, Jose Abreu, is No. 2 on the list.
Springer is just behind Giancarlo Stanton, No. 8 on the list. Only two months separates the birth dates of Springer and Stanton, who are the two youngest players in the top 10 list. It's interesting to compare Springer's season so far with Stanton's rookie season with the Marlins (2010). Springer's strike out rate is nearly the same as Stanton's rookie year (32% vs. 31%). Springer has a better walk rate (12% vs. 8%) and a better wRC+ (129 vs. 118), which measures overall offense compared to league average (100=average). Granted, Stanton was younger during his rookie year, but the comparison is encouraging for a profile of Springer's future career. During the 2010 rookie of the year debate, I recall that some analysts questioned Stanton's ability to sustain success because of his strike out rate. Since his rookie year, Stanton has developed into one of the top offensive talents in the major leagues.