So far we’ve focused on veterans and the excitement they add to the 2022 season, but now it’s time to focus on a rookie that looks like he’ll be taking on the monumental task of following Carlos Correa at shortstop.
There’s no way Peña is going to “replace” Correa and that’s why I didn’t use that word. FanGraph’s Steamer projections show a slash of .247/.299/. 413 with 15 home runs, 56 RBI and a wRC+ of 95 for Pena and that sounds about right to me.
Though Peña is thought to be a defensive first shortstop, trying to replicate Correa’s play in the field will be tough, so why are we excited?
As we see with Correa, free agency is not going away and teams are in constant need of a mix of veterans and young players to maintain payroll, the ability to compete and avoid the dreaded tanking we saw with the Astros of the 2010s.
Is it optimal to lose Correa in his prime?
Not even close, but seeing the next shortstop of the future grow up in front of your eyes, much like Correa did, is an exciting proposition and hopefully the Astros will be set at shortstop for the next half decade, at least.