A battle to see who will be the AL MVP Award this year will be good for the Astros.
When you go out to dinner with your friend and you they order something that looks better than you did. You are envious of what they ordered. Last year, Jose Altuve played at a MVP level for the Astros and took home the AL award. Carlos Correa has already won a rookie of the year award, now he is shooting for loftier goals. He wants to win the MVP once before he retires according to Brian McTaggart.
A lot was made of Correa not visiting the White House on Monday. No matter which side you are on, you have to enjoy his response when asked about his absence. Correa stated that there was no message intended, but he uses his off-days to gather supplies to send to Puerto Rico. That was a great answer.
Always looking to get better.
Back when I got a chance to interview Correa via phone while he was still in Double-A, I got to see the competitive side of him. At the time, he was one of the top prospects in the game, but he wanted to get better. One of the things he mentioned working on was to become faster because people said he would not steal bases. Then he said something that sticks with me today.
"“I work on every part of my game because my goal is to become the greatest shortstop I can be.” – Correa via Eric Huysman."
Correa is not settling with the fact that he won the ROY Award or the World Series, he wants more. This sounds familiar, Jose Altuve said something like this last year to Carlos Beltran. After Beltran signed with Houston, Correa and Altuve went to dinner with Beltran. Altuve told Beltran that he wants to get better.
These two stars are a rare breed, they are great players who want to be better. As I wrote earlier in the offseason, George Springer probably wants to get in consideration for MVP as well. A battle between these three mega stars could lead to an epic season for the team. Just like Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle’s epic battle in 1961, teammates can motivate each other.
Correa has the stuff.
Many people feel like Correa has the best shot to win the MVP this year. He was on track for a monster season last year, but a thumb injury sidetracked him for a month. Correa hit .315 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs. All Correa needs to do is stay healthy all season to win this award. His stolen bases went down last year, but upping his steals would help his cause.
As the cleanup hitter Correa could be the first Houston hitter since 2009 to reach 100 RBIs. That year, it was Carlos Lee with 101 RBIs. The Astros have not had a big bopper since 2006. That season, Lance Berkman had 45 homers. Chris Carter had 37 homers in 2015, but Correa has the stuff to join the club.
The Astros are built where they don’t need a 45 homers hitter in the lineup. However, Correa could be the most likely to do so until Kyle Tucker comes up. Springer could up his game as well, the pop is there. I’m rooting for all three to battle for the MVP Award. It will mean the Astros will be in good shape.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***