Astros’ Carlos Correa: A Boxer’s State of Mind

Feb 22, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros infielder Carlos Correa (1) walks out of the batting cage at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros infielder Carlos Correa (1) walks out of the batting cage at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

 Astros Carlos Correa, a Heavy Weight Champion developing before our eyes.

To be a champion you need to believe that you are a champion. On June 4th, 2012, the Astros used the number one overall pick in the draft on a seventeen-year-old shortstop from Puerto Rico named Carlos Correa. There was a large echo among GM’s that Carlos was widely considered the most talented player available in the draft. When the Astros did their homework on Correa, they learned of the mind that was the driving force behind the unique set of skill he possesses.

Looking back to June 8, 2015, Correa’s first day in the Majors could be a perfect segway for the rest of his career. Considering how MLB teams covet their prized prospects, and try to make their ascend to the MLB as seamless as they can, it illustrates just what the Astros thought of Correa. It is no secret that hitting vs. Chris Sale may be the most uncomfortable at-bat in the game, but the Astros did not think twice to throw him into the fire.

The reality is the heat of the environment Correa was introduced to was greater than his first MLB opponent. The Astros were looking to enforce their run to the playoffs, and Correa had become the team’s number three hitter.

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In Correa’s first game vs. Sale, he logged his first major league hit, and first major league RBI. In Correa’s first season he won the A.L. Rookie of The Year and led Houston back to the playoffs eliminating a lot of recent pain in the city. Correa had no fear facing anyone in his first campaign and carried the look of a prized fighter on a mission.

Correa’s work ethic has followed him from his youth and his father’s teachings have stuck with him. In all Correa does, it is done to better himself, or better those around him. Off the field, you will find him in boxing gyms working on his footwork, and hand acceleration through sparring sessions. It is clear that Correa is the type of leader that takes the fight to the cause, which causes being an inner division rival, or an inner city problem. Following Correa’s path since the draft, one could say if he walked away today he would forever be a champion to the many who don’t even follow sports.

In July 2015, just a month after making his MLB debut, at a time where players are just trying to figure out major league pitching, Correa started working with the Salvation Army on a program to aid the homeless in Houston. Correa was just getting started and formed a Golf Tournament in Puerto Rico to aid children with cardiovascular disease.

The 2016 season is more of the same for Correa, and he has been a strong force behind “A Better Night’s Sleep Program” providing mattresses and beds to children and families in need. Carlos has a goal of $200,000 to be donated to the cause and pledged to continue his outreach to the youth in the community. It’s a beautiful thing to see a player using his on-field battles against the best, and turning that success into a fight against life battles such as poverty and disease.

After a dismal 7-17 month of April to start the 2016 season, the Astros and Correa could have been easily down for the count. When you have a boxers state of mind, you don’t comprehend the word quit, and you expect to conquer all opponents.

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After posting a .253 batting Avg over April and May, Correa has bounced off the ropes swinging with a purpose, and carrying a slash line in June of .295/.395/.569. In his last eight games, (all in the clean up spot) Correa is hitting .360, .800 SLG. 3 HR, and 8 RBI. In recent times Correa has flashed the leather as well with a 30 game errorless streak and has collected three monster walk-off hits.

Taking a closer look at his walk-off hits, Correa has now logged 4 in his young 167 game career. To put career walk-off hits in perspective, Correa grew up idolizing Hall of Famer Derek Jeter who totaled seven career walk-off hits in his 2,747 games played. The Astros now sit at 37-36 after a 30-19 run since April. Correa’s bat and glove have played a critical part in their surge back to contention. In 2012 The Astros drafted a baseball player with a world-class boxers approach to the game.

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Carlos Correa will tell you nothing comes easy, and you must always believe you are a champion to train like one. The eye of the tiger is strong in Correa’s eyes, and he appears ready to K.O. any opponent standing in the way of the Houston Astros first world title.

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***