It’s great to see Astros’ shortstop Carlos Correa playing healthy again after suffering from a bad back most of the 2018 season.
The Astros fans were starting to get a feeling of deja vu when Carlos Correa missed the first three games of the season, due to a stiff neck. Houston and Correa were both looking forward to seeing what he could do healthy again, see the 2017 version of Carlos Correa. Well, it looks like we are starting to see that potential again.
It’s only been five games, but the proof’s in the pudding. Correa has shown both out on the field and behind the plate, that he’s feeling just fine, and he’d be the first to tell you. “I’ve felt great,” the 24-year-old said. “I’ve felt great.”
The one statistic that’s a good indication that he’s healthier and stronger is the increase in the exit velocity of the ball off the bat. Correa has already had five hits with an exit velocity of over 100 and three of those exceeded 110. Last year he had only 15 batted balls over 100 in the second half of the season after returning from his back injury.
"“Just to see the ball jumping off the bat like it’s jumping right now gives me a lot of confidence in the way my hands and my body are moving toward the baseball. How fast I can move is a great relief,” Correa said. “Last year, I couldn’t do any of that.”"
Correa is currently batting .333 and is leading the team in SLG% (.667) and OPS (1.067). He hit his first home run of the season last night deep to left field careening off one of the upper signs. But Correa is not just doing it with his bat. He has shown how healthy he is by the agility and speed he’s displayed out on the field.
I think we’re going to see more of the old Carlos Correa, the 2017 All-Star Carlos Correa, and A. J. Hinch feels the same. “Great stuff,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters of Correa following the game. “He’s being Carlos Correa. Watching him play with some freedom and the acrobatic plays that he’s playing with, the freedom in his swing, even the at-bat where he swung and missed a couple times, there’s some danger in there.