Houston Astros: Carlos Correa makes top shortstop list
Carlos Correa ranks 7th on MLB Network’s Top 10 Shortstops list. Did they get it right?
MLB Network has released their top 10 players at each position over the last couple weeks, and while a few Houston Astros made the lists, Carlos Correa stands 7th behind a star studded cast. Not much was discussed about Correa’s 2020 performance other than his outstanding postseason campaign, where he launched six long balls.
The Astros shortstop ranked 6th on the list coming into the 2020 season, and the bump back to 7th most likely comes from a regressed bat at the plate. In 221 plate appearances, the right-hander swung for .264/.326/.383 which brought his OPS to .709 (below league average). While shifting between the middle of the lineup, Correa wasn’t finding a steady rhythm in his swing. He also slammed five home runs and drove in 25 runs, as one of the only players to stay healthy all season. Correa hasn’t always been the man to swing for the fences, but it was obvious 2020 was an off year.
Correa was a finalist for a Gold Glove for shortstop, but the award was given to Seattle Mariner J.P. Crawford. With a fielding percentage of .995, Correa was a vacuum at short with his highest percentage in his career. His defense was the upside to a slouched performance at the plate, but the Astros have been known as a team of progression. In reality, Correa was taking longer to get used to the game again after battling an injury late in the ’19 season.
We saw this progression in the ’20 postseason. Through 13 games, Correa’s OPS was sky rocketing past 1.000 with five home runs and 17 RBI. This was the best way to evaluate the future of Correa, as his tenure in Houston is expiring. The right-hander looked healthy and is no doubt the captain of the clubhouse. As we reach the end of the season, it would behoove GM James Click to extend the All-Star shortstop before free agency. The 2021 shortstop free agency class is full of talent, as Correa, Trevor Story, Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager and Javier Báez headline the list.
The shredder calculates a projection for Correa to be 7th best shortstop, and while this seems a little underrated, there is a lot of talent before him. From first to sixth: Story, Fernando Tatis Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Lindor, Trea Turner, and Seager are on the list. All these players exhibited All-Star caliber numbers in 2020 which put them in front of Correa. The struggles were there, but if MLB Network is evaluating overall performance including the postseason, then Correa has the case to trade spots with someone in the top six. The future for Correa is unknown. As he negotiates an extension with the Astros, we can expect him to play at the same level he did in the ’20 postseason.