Projections say that the Astros’ ss Carlos Correa will build upon his strong 2016 performance.
When Astros shortstop Carlos Correa debuted in the majors at age 20, the hype couldn’t have been stronger. Fortunately for the team, Correa lived up to it. He smacked 22 homers over the course of 99 games in 2015, earning AL Rookie of the Year honors.
His first full season was slightly less flashy than his debut, but it was still a solid overall effort. Correa slashed .274/.361/.451 with 20 homers, 36 doubles, and 96 RBIs. He added 13 stolen bases in 16 attempts. Considering his young age, it was still a remarkable season in many ways.
What can Astros fans expect from Correa in his second full season in the bigs? Time will only tell for sure, but for now, we have projections.
Carrying a big stick
FanGraphs ZiPS projections pegs Correa for a .280/.358/.489 slash line with 37 doubles, 27 homers, and 115 RBIs. Additionally, he’s projected to steal 20 bases in 24 attempts. From a 22-year old, these are outstanding numbers.
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What accounts for this projection? For one, Correa struck out in 21.1 percent of his plate appearances in 2016, while the projections put him at 19.4 percent for 2017. Cutting down on the strikeouts and putting more balls in play will always help. At his age, there is always room for continued development.
The projections have Correa scoring 85 runs, compared to the 76 he scored in 2016. Lowering his strikeout rate will help, but the biggest thing that may help him is the stronger, deeper Astros lineup. He will have better hitters behind him, allowing him to cross the plate more often, and will likely have more people on base in front of him, accounting for the high RBI total.
Along with second baseman Jose Altuve, whose projections were discussed by CTH’s Derek Howard, Correa is a key cog in the revamped Stros offense. Adding Carlos Beltran, Josh Reddick, and Brian McCann to the lineup gives fans plenty of hope that the Astros could end up among the top five AL teams in runs scored.
Correa is known across the league as a budding star, and the former top overall pick is living up to his billing. The Astros expect 2017 to put Correa one step closer to complete superstardom.
***Projections courtesy of FanGraphs ZiPS***
***Statistics courtesy of baseball-reference.com***