A good year for Correa stock

After starting the first couple of weeks of the 2021 season on a hot streak, Carlos Correa fell into a pretty nasty slump. By May 11 he was slashing an anemic .239 BA/ .290 OBP/ .693 OPS. It looked like Carlos might have made a mistake in not taking the Astros’ off-season extension offer, even if it seemed a low ball number.

Well, since the point when Correa tweaked his plate approach and lowered his leg kick, he has been on fire, and suddenly it looks like the Astros should have proffered a more serious offer in the offseason. In the 28 games between May 12th and his ninth-inning game-tying home run on June 15th, his numbers look like this….

.362 BA/ .485 OBP/ 1.123 OPS/ 27 runs/ 8 doubles/ 7 HRs/ 20 RBIs and 25 walks vs. 18 Ks

In doing this, he has suddenly climbed to the top of the list of shortstops hitting the free agency market this coming off-season. Let’s take a quick look at this.

Carlos Correa. 26-year-old Correa is near the top for almost every category for shortstops this season. He is slashing a healthy .293 BA/ .382 OBP/ .888 OPS with 45 runs scored, 12 HRs and 36 RBIs while still playing a stellar shortstop in the field. On top of this, along with good health in last season’s abbreviated season, he has been healthy this time around (knock on your Louisville Slugger). He looks like he is on the way to a huge payday – elsewhere.

Trevor Story. 28-year-old Story, after receiving MVP votes the last 3 seasons for his work in Colorado, has fallen down in his contract year (to date). His slash is a so-so .245 BA/ .322 OBP/ .724 OPS with 29 runs, 5 HRs and 24 RBIs on the season. Story was already fighting the fact that his road numbers have always lagged a long way behind these numbers in the thin air of Colorado. A drop down in this season could further cost him some big bucks in the off-season.

Corey Seager. 27-year-old Seager was last year’s World Series MVP and set up to cash in after this season. On the plus side, he was performing pretty well this season, maybe a small step worse than his career norms – .265 BA/ .361 OBP/ .783 OPS with 20 runs, 4 HRs and 22 RBIs through 37 games. And that is the rub for right now as a misdirected pitch left him with a broken hand back in May, and he will likely have missed two months by the time he returns. If he shows his usual potency with the bat down the stretch, that should not affect his free agency much, but he could struggle to find himself returning in the middle of the season.

Javier Baez. The 28-year-old Cub was second in the MVP voting in the NL in 2018 and a strong All-Star in 2019. But…..he fell badly in 2020 (.203 BA/ .238 OBP/ .599 OPS) and has not fully recovered in 2021 (.235 BA/ .270 OBP/ .744 OPS). His meager seven walks against a major league-leading 88 Ks point to the basis of his problems. Without a roaring comeback in the rest of this season, he may well struggle to cash in big time in this off-season.

Andrelton Simmons. Simmons is 31 years old, and only a few years ago with the Angels, it was being bantered that he was on the cusp of passing Correa as the best SS in the AL West. He has continued to be one of the smoothest fielders around, but his bat has never equaled Carlos or the other gentlemen on this list. This year with the Twins, he has struggled with his new teammates and is slashing .244 BA/ .323 OBP/ .643 OPS with 2 HRs and 14 RBIs. He will be in the bargain basement end of the available shortstops heading into 2022.

Brandon Crawford. The Giant’s SS at 34 years old is headed towards his finest offensive season. He is slashing .253 BA/ .339 OBP/ .876 OPS with 15 HRs and 44 RBIs. Crawford’s age will certainly affect the length of any contract he signs, but he will likely get a nice annual salary out of a strong season in his contract year.

A lot can happen in the next 3-1/2 months of the season, but as long as Correa stays on the field a reasonable amount of time and performs up to his talent, he may well be the highest-paid of the shortstops available in this coming off-season.

27 comments on “A good year for Correa stock

  1. Correa has started slow but has heated up and it is the perfect time, because Bregman was really slumping before he got hurt. I’m hoping he finishes with his best year yet and gets paid.
    The Astros will hopefully get a championship and a draft pick from him this season.
    As the market gets saturated with $100+million players there will be fewer and fewer clubs who can afford them.
    The Astros have already committed to LMJ for four more years. I think that is their big dollar guy for now.

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    • Right now I agree with you. I hope Carlos plays so well he gets a monster contract elsewhere.
      Manny Machado is hitting .243 with a .763 OPS right now.
      Bregman .278 / .787 (injured)
      Harper .274 / .857 (injured)
      Arenado .269 / .809
      Betts .253 / .822
      Lindor .213 / .652
      Springer .200 / .894 (injured)

      None of that looks good to me. I love watching Correa play just as much as I did George Springer. It’s tough to replace those guys, but based on the numbers above it makes a whole lot more sense to bring in 2-3 guys who improve your other roster spots instead of overpaying for the superstar. This also factors in that money is not unlimited unless you are NYY / LAD and that a number of rules are setup to severely punish a small market club who decides to make a splash and go over the luxury cap a couple times.

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  2. As a human being, Carlos Correa does not impress me. But what a wonderful media personality. And incredibly talented. He’s the best on the market, offensively and defensively. He’s the best in the business when he wants to be. How come he’s so healthy right now? I’ve expected a great season from him. He’s delivering. I hope he helps us win it all. And I hope he makes a ton of money going forward, but I don’t expect him to give anyone 150 games a year.

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  3. Jojanse Torres was the starting pitcher for Sugarland tonight. He gave up a HR to the first batter and was taken out of the game.
    Skeeters fell behind 4-0 on the road in El Paso and came back to win 8-5.

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    • The El Paso radar gun showed his first pitch at 86 and his second 87 for the home run. He started stretching and rubbing his elbow. For the year, he had 19.2 innings with 19 hits and 19 walks.

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  4. And update on the Minors hitters. Siri is now sitting at .302. May .354 and June .213. Pedro Leon is .233. With May .173 and June .333. Marty Costes is .333. May .365 and May .296. Catcher Korey Lee is .328. With splits between Ashville and Corpus.

    Jonathan Bermudez took the lost for Corpus last night by giving up 1 run in 5.1 innings. Walked 1 struck 7. Final was 1 to 0 so he got no help.

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  5. Fun night last night…..
    – Brantley picked a great time to jack up a home run with Bregman and Tucker out. In his last 23 games / 97 ABs he had been hitting .361 BA but had no home runs
    – How dialed in is Altuve? He is not missing too many bad pitches
    – I was worried when Baker left Urquidy in to finish the 6th, but he apparently knows better than me as Jose got out of the jam and went 1-2-3 in the 7th to boot
    – Nice to have Bielak and Garza mop up
    – Chas has much better instincts on fly balls than Straw. He came from a long ways away to take away what should have been Straw’s catch – though as was pointed out by AC45 – he could wipe out some folks
    – Good call up game for Toro with two big swings and 4 RBIs on the night

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  6. I’m probably not the only one here who thought our GM did not do enough to put a major league outfield together as the 2021 season began. I admit, I still had some nagging doubts about Tucker at that point. No longer. And although Myles really is an anemic hitter and not a long term solution as a starter, he’s a pest who gets on base more than most guys in the 8th or 9th slot. He looks more confident in the outfield, although his newest right field neighbor seems to be the real take charge guy out there. Speaking of Chas, can he really hit, or is he just the latest version of J.R. Towles? I think given the chance, he might be a keeper. Even our DH has shown an ability to get under a ball. So our outfield is not a scary place these days.

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  7. Interesting interview between Keuchel and Julia. He said he always wanted to stay an Astro. I think he “misremembers” turning down the QO of $18 Million and an earlier extension offer of $90 Miliion. He took a $20 Miilion pay cut to “test the market.”

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  8. What a great tight game!
    Astros walk it off 2-1 – Yuli rips one up the middle and Yordan rips one in the corner against a tough lefty.
    Great pitching by Garcia, Stanek, Pressly

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