Houston Astros: Can Carlos Correa Become the Face of the MLB?
By Eric Huysman
Houston Astros Shortstop Carlos Correa Could be a Real Big Deal!
The current face of major league baseball is Mike Trout, who has been a household name across the country since his rookie year. He offers an all-around skill set that some call a once in a generational type player at such a young age. Bryce Harper got off to a rocky start to his big league career but got his career back on track last season as he won the NL MVP last season. These two players might get the love now, but a rising star with the Houston Astros could soon threaten their popularity.
You heard that right, and the Astros are no longer the laughing stock in baseball that they were for several years. One of the reasons for this is the solid core led by the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year Award winner Carlos Correa. This is not even a bold statement to say that not only would Correa win the MVP award in the next three seasons, but he could become the face of baseball by late 2016.
Correa has already landed a huge deal with Adidas that should help shoulder his finances during his pre-arbitration years with the Astros. Following the cheap years of service time for Correa, the Astros will probably work out an extension with the rising star similar to what they did with Jose Altuve. Don’t look for the Astros to get a sweetheart deal with Correa like they did with Altuve, but the length of the window of success for the Astros could rest on how long Correa is on the team.
What Correa offers is not only the talent but also has the desire to get better and play above his ability like J.J. Watt. Some of the early criticisms of Correa was that he was too tall to play shortstop and that he would never be able to offer that much speed. Instead of keeping the status quo, Correa went out of his way to improve his perceived weaknesses and his greatness was clear everywhere Correa played in 2015.
Check out last week’s Talking Stros from spring training.
Even before Correa made his debut, people would say that no matter where Correa plays, he is the best player on the field. Even David Ortiz said that there was something special about this kid when the Astros played in Boston last year. In a podcast that I listened to, Jose de Jesus Ortiz said that Correa is that once a lifetime type player who could win multiple MVP awards, similar to what Trout was able to accomplish early in his career.
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I know, some of you still love Trout, I mean he can hit home runs to a name brand sandwich shop to order lunch. Correa may not have the 49 steal potential that Trout did early in his career, he does have the ability to steal 20 plus bases pretty regularly. Trout does not steal bases like he used to, but he is still effective on the bases. I feel that Correa could be better than the other two players.
Unlike Trout and Harper, Correa plays a premium position at shortstop, which will be taken into consideration. While Trout is a gold glover in center field, there have been very few shortstops who could have the overall impact that Correa could have. The names Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez come to mind when looking at the impact of Correa who could highlight the next golden age of shortstops.
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Not only is Correa an impact player on the field, he knows exactly how to carry himself and is not shy from getting his face out there during playoff coverage last season with his fedora on. The 2016 season will be a big key to see what type of player that Correa will be, but Astros fans think we have someone who could lead this team deep into the playoffs.