Monday countdown: Carlos Correa and the all-time Astros’ shortstops


The countdown is on. Two series. Six games. One long road trip. As I mentioned yesterday, when the weekend is over, we’ll be discussing rosters, lineups and rotations. Either for the playoffs or for 2016.

Each day this week, we’ll come at you with some quick-hitting thoughts, questions or ideas to ponder. Today’s conversation is simple.

How long will it take Carlos Correa to enter the conversation as the best shortstop in Astros’ history?

Shortstop is not a deep position when you talk of Astros’ history. Dickie Thon comes to mind immediately. Though he was considered “no hit”, Adam Everett likely had the best glove of any shortstop on the list. There is Roger Metzger from the early days, and Craig Reynolds and even Denis Menke.

Some might argue that Correa has already established himself in the group in less than a full season, but that wouldn’t be fair to the others on the list. Or would it?

To be sure, other positions aren’t as easy. Despite four seasons of top production, it will takes years before Jose Altuve unseats Craig Biggio, though he may be moving into the Bill Doran category. You may also include Joe Morgan in the group, though he didn’t play most of his career in an Astros’ uniform.

Back to shortstop. Correa has already hit more home runs in a season than any other prior shortstop. He’s proven he has the range and the glove. Will he have Biggio longevity? As he matures and fills out physically, will he continue to be the best option at shortstop or will a move to third base be more advantageous? Is he the prodigious three-hole hitter or will he eventually turn into the leadoff or even cleanup hitter?

It’s the discussion of the day as we countdown the 2015 season.

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61 comments on “Monday countdown: Carlos Correa and the all-time Astros’ shortstops

  1. Having spent many years on the Texas Island of Elba (Arlington), I missed seeing Thon and Reynolds. Menke was the smartest ballplayer of the group with less than average fielding – good hitter (90+ RBIs). Metzer never became the hitter expected. Everett is unsurpassed with the solid glove play – automatic out fielding and batting. But even today after less than a year, Correa is the best by far of the ones I watched play. In fact, in watching 60+ years of baseball, he has more tools and abilities than any I have ever seen – period. Long live King Carlos.

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  2. There is a lot to like about Correa. He is a good fielder, has a great arm and terrific range. He hits for average and he hits for power.
    I think he will work on his defense this winter because he listens to people talk about his weaknesses and then fixes them.
    For now, he is the Astros best rookie SS ever. I suspect he will become the best Astros SS ever. I think he will become one of the best of all at the position, but that is a huge hill to climb.
    Personally, I wouldn’t mind him becoming a great third baseman in ten years, because that would mean a longer career and it would also mean the Astros had found someone good enough at SS to make the move feasible.

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    • I think Correa will play shortstop next season and then be our best third baseman in Astro history starting in 2017. I think Alex Bregman will then be our shortstop in 2017 and bat second ahead of Altuve and behind Correa. Then if A.J. Reed does what I believe he will, he’ll bat cleanup and we’ll have the best infield in baseball.

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      • Larry, so you are saying that Correa will bat leadoff, Bregman second, and Altuve third? Seems to me that this lineup should be reversed.

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      • Larry, you may be right but I think you are jumping the gun.
        Bregman had 16 errors in 60 games this year at SS.
        He hit great in Lancaster but not so much in QC.
        He is only 21.
        Moran is two years advanced on Bregman. Let’s assume one thing and see how it could change 2017. Let’s assume Moran hits over .300 in AAA next year and shows the kind of power he did in the second half of this past season and is a decent fielding 3B.
        Who is in the outfield of the future besides Springer? Marisnick? Gomez? Aplin? Grossman? Rasmus?
        The answer is probably none of the above.
        But a #1 prospect who can run, has a good arm, great on base skills, and is a good hitter and is known for his baseball savvy could fit nicely in LF or CF where we currently are hurting. Maverick and Domingo are gone and we are not great in the minors except for 18 year olds.
        Rather than replacing a 22 year old All-Star SS in Correa for 2017, maybe we slot Moran at 3B Correa at SS Altuve at 2B, Reed at 1B, Bregman in LF and Springer in CF. Tucker, White, Duffy fill in some gaps and we’re looking for a RFer.
        That is a very young team with rookies at 3B, LF and 1B. But I think it is a better hitting team than the one we put on the field this season, by a long shot.

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  3. I never saw Menke or Metzger play before my Astro days, grew up a young Tiger fan, Kaline was my hero. I told my wife when CC got to Lancaster and I got to watch him on TV, if he stays healthy he is a HOF LOCK. I think that says it all for me. He may grow into 3rd, so he will be the best SS and 3B ever in Astro history.

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  4. What impressed me most in ST and in his first weeks in big leagues was his approach. When we needed baserunners he was happy to work the pitcher and hit solid singles to RF. This is in contrast to many guys we have. I love watching Springer, but striking out on a huge swing on 3-2 count late in the game (curveballs above the belt) made no sense! It’s in MMP and a half swing could reach the Crawford boxes! In other words, I want Correa to rub off on our other guys and not learn any bad habits them.

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  5. Agree wholeheartedly with the CC comments. As Devin mentioned about the hitting the rest of the guys need to take contact hitting lessons from Altuve & Correa. If you put wood on the baseball good things will eventually happen. I don’t believe anybody ever won a game by striking out.

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  6. I have been watching Astros baseball since we moved to Houston in 1965. Carlos Correa is the best SS we have ever put out there. I watched him hit two HRs on Saturday in person and they were two totally different pitches and results – lifting a moonshot on to the tracks and then hitting a line drive Crawford Box special to tie it later.
    He is such a smart player, knows the situations, and adjusts his swing as needed. I love watching this kid play and hope I get to do that for the next 15 seasons or more.

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  7. Going back to the previous posts about umpiring, there was a game in which Walt Bond hit a long fly to center field. As he rounded 1st, the 2nd base umpire was half way to the wall and circled his fingers meaning Home Run. Bond broke into a trot and was throw out at 3rd. The umpires had the usual conference in those days and the out call stood. That was my all time worst call.

    “My reasoning was that the home run signal influenced (Walt) Bond’s running and he was misled by the signal and should not be penalized. If the protest had been formally lodged and reached my office and no different facts presented, I feel sure I would have allowed it and resumed play with Bond on second base in place of being declared out at third.” – National League President Warren Giles in Baseball Digest (August 2003)

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  8. Until he got hit, Thon was on his way to being the guy we’d be comparing Correa to today anyway. Dickie was a 20 homer guy in the Dome. And a smart kid too, an excellent, smooth fielder who could run. When it’s all said and done though, Correa might be as good as anyone we’ve seen come along in the last generation.

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  9. Carlos may already BE the best ever Astros SS….best in the 25 years I’ve been watching, for sure. Only thing that could hold him back is he gets hit in the eye a la Thon, otherwise he’s golden.

    I think by the time it’s all said and done, he’s gonna end up being the best Astro ever regardless of position.

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    • That’s why every time he and Altuve run together or Springer bangs a wall, you hold your breath. It can end in an instant. There are a many like Thon, Herb Score, Tony Conigliaro and others.

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  10. If it ever get hold of the base running coach for the Astros….I’m gonna wring his neck.
    Giving the other team a free out on the bases is UNACCEPTABLE!!! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
    If it came from Hinch….he’s in hot water with me TOO.

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    • We were the spoilers last year, and the year before. Everyone is gonna try and keep the Rangers, and Astros out of it. The Twins won tonight….and the Rangers lost.

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  11. Not over in Arligton…..hopefully through Tigers an put this away. The score Tigers 7 Rangers 4 bottom of the 9th. Come on Detroit…..give us a break!!

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  12. Loaded the bases and could not get a run across. Situational hitting is gonna kill this team…..they are 0 and 8 in one run games in September.

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  13. Perez and Gregerson saved Hinch’s stupid butt. If you are going to pinch run and then sacrifice a guy to third, why wouldn’t you pinch hit and get somebody to the plate who could actually touch a baseball with a bat.
    They absolutely do not want Conger behind the plate!
    Way to go, Astros! Three runs, three home runs.
    Thank you, Tigers!
    Angels walk off single in the ninth.

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    • Sorry OP….I didn’t want Conger in the game either. If I never see that guys face again, it will be too soon. Worthless behind the plate…..worthless in keeping the run game in check.

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  14. A great win, so essential to starting the road trip. Hit the ball hard. Excellent defense. Pen looked like the early season group. McCullers showed that he’s a big game guy. Some of the best pitchers in the game had problems in the first inning. I think he’s going to be one of the best.

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