Houston Astros 2015 Season Recap: Carlos Correa
Houston Astros 30 Players in 30 Days: Carlos Correa
The Houston Astros used the first overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft to draft Carlos Correa, a 17-year-old shortstop out of Puerto Rico. The 6’4″ Correa immediately drew comparisons to Alex Rodriguez because of his stature, but he was a surprise pick because he wasn’t the consensus number-one pick around baseball. He would only hit .258 with three home runs in 50 games in 2012, but put together a solid full season of baseball in 2013. In 2014, Correa played 62 games at high A-ball and slashed .325/.416/.510 with 16 doubles and six home runs. He was poised for a promotion to Double-A by season’s end, but the then 19-year-old Correa fractured his fibula sliding into third base in June, and the injury cost him the rest of his season.
Entering 2015, Correa would start the season at Double-A Corpus Christi but figured to be at least a full season away from joining the Astros. Correa’s early performance would change that, though, as he hit a ridiculous .385/.459/.726 with 15 doubles, 15 steals, and seven home runs in just 29 games before the team decided to promote him to Triple-A Fresno in early May. With Fresno, Correa hit .276 in 24 games with three home runs and the team decided that, after only 53 games above A-ball, the 20-year-old shortstop was ready to help the Astros. Correa would make his debut on June 8 against the Chicago White Sox and Chris Sale. After a flyout in his first at-bat, he picked up an infield, RBI single in his second at-bat for his first major-league hit.
The next night, Correa hit a single in the sixth inning and in the ninth inning Correa stepped into the batter’s box after a double by Chris Carter and crushed the second pitch he saw into the left-field stands for his first major-league home run. Correa hit .287/.309/.543 in 22 June games along with five home runs and four stolen bases en route to an AL Rookie of the Month award. A.J. Hinch tried to keep Correa down in the lineup, but his production demanded otherwise, and he was hitting in the third spot for a playoff team from July on. The only early knock on Correa’s approach at the plate was his shortage of walks. After walking only three times in June, he drew ten walks in July and had a .378 on-base percentage.
Defensively, Correa became a human highlight reel for the Astros. On July 25, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth of a tie ballgame against the Kansas City Royals, Alex Rios hit a grounder to Correa’s right side heading into shallow left field. Correa sprinted over, backhanded the ball and channeled his inner Derek Jeter with a jump throw to first base that just beat Rios and sent the game into extra innings.
In August, Correa only hit .250, but still had a .359 OBP and six home runs in 24 games. Correa’s performance was consistent every month. He hit at least five home runs and at least 14 RBIs from June through September.
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2015 line via Baseball Reference: 99 games, .279/.345/.512, 108 hits, 22 doubles, 22 home runs, 68 RBIs, 14 stolen bases.
The biggest surprise in Correa’s 2015 performance was his power surge. Between two levels of minor-league ball and 99 MLB games, he hit 32 home runs with 112 RBIs. Before this season, he had never hit more than 10 in a full season although he was well on his way in 2014.
Correa actually hit at a higher clip vs. right-handed pitching (.281/.274), but slugged a higher percentage vs. left-handed pitching (.490/.556). The young phenom also came through when the team needed him most; with two outs and runners in scoring position, Correa slashed .395/.477/.763 with four home runs and 19 RBIs.
In six playoff games, Correa hit .292 including a two home run, four RBI performance in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Royals.
In October, Correa was named the Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year, an award voted on by other players. In November, Correa became the first Houston Astros player since Jeff Bagwell in 1991 to win the Baseball Writer’s Association of America Rookie of the Year award.
More Houston Astros Season Recaps:
- Vince Velasquez
- Tony Sipp
- Jonathan Villar
- Preston Tucker
- Mike Fiers
- Hank Conger
- Chad Qualls
- Jon Singleton
- Joe Thatcher
- Marwin Gonzalez
- Josh Fields
- Jake Marisnick
- Pat Neshek
- Jed Lowrie
- Luis Valbuena
- Scott Feldman
- Evan Gattis
- Will Harris
- Luke Gregerson
- Chris Carter
- Jason Castro
- Scott Kazmir
- Carlos Gomez
- Lance McCullers
- Colby Rasmus
- Collin McHugh
- George Springer
- Jose Altuve
What to expect in 2016
There’s not much more to say about Correa that has not already been said. He’s already considered one of the best shortstops in all of baseball, and he’s only 21 years old. There are going to be many more awards in Correa’s future.
Next: Analyzing Brendan McCurry
Jose Altuve and Correa make up one of the best middle-infield combinations in all of baseball. Expect Correa to hit .300+ in 2016 with 35-40 home runs. And he’s only getting started.