Houston Astros 2020 Year in Review: Carlos Correa

Carlos Correa (1) celebrate after hitting a game winning solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during game five of the 2020 ALCS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Carlos Correa (1) celebrate after hitting a game winning solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during game five of the 2020 ALCS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Carlos Correa stayed healthy this year and showed progression for the Houston Astros, especially in the postseason.

For all the injuries that the Houston Astros dealt with in 2020, Carlos Correa was one of the only guys to stay healthy through the whole season. But for a player so hyped up – he is a 1-time All-Star and Rookie of the Year in ’15 – you would hope he would be back to his ’17 season form.

After fighting injuries in ’19, Correa posted good numbers at the plate. But after only appearing in 75 games, there wasn’t much to show for any accolades. Correa became a more reliable player in the field this season, especially with others falling to injury.

Regular Season

In 58 games this season, Correa hit .264/.326/.383, with his .709 OPS standing out the most. With this being well below league average, it’s understandable why he keeps dropping in the lineup. Correa has been known to have an OPS around .800-.900, but in such a small sample size of a season, it shows how these Astros players slumped. They likely had a good chance of winning the AL West in a 162 game season because as players slow down in the dog days, the Astros pick up speed. We really saw this come in the playoffs.

In the field, Correa had a fielding percentage of .995 at shortstop. This number was the highest of all shortstops in 2020, and he was still snubbed of the Gold Glove. He also posted a 1.1 defensive WAR.

Postseason

Here we are: the postseason. Correa was definitely the most valuable player for the Astros in October, and he didn’t even hit in the top five of the batting order most nights.

At the plate, Correa was posting immaculate numbers. While hitting .500/.625/1.000 in the Wild Card Series, he contributed three runs, which was enough in a low scoring series. Moving into the ALDS and the ALCS, the bat didn’t stop. Correa hit .500/.611/1.143 and .259/.310/.519, hitting one of the most meaningful walk-off home runs in recent Astros history.

The Future

Correa showed resilience in the playoffs, after a season shadowed by a scandal. There is pressure placed on Correa being the most outspoken player on the team. Although being in trade rumors to start the season, the Astros still have him under contract for the 2021 season, and this will be the best time to evaluate the injury prone shortstop. If the Astros get a full season and postseason out of Correa in ’21, he could be a contender for MVP. Depending on how much money the Astros have left, they could extend Correa, but if he isn’t producing come August, he could become a trade candidate.

Correa showed some progression this year, especially in the postseason. But his regular season was very below average at the plate. His defensive reliability was a big part of his grade, along with resurgence in the postseason. This grade is based upon what he did in this sample size, and how it could translate to a 162-game season. But we know Correa progresses exponentially numbers wise as the season moves along. His postseason and fielding probably made him jump a letter grade, because he stood out when it mattered most.

Grade: B+

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