Is Carlos Correa Already Baseball’s Best Shortstop?

Why yes: performance. If you want to argue that Carlos Correa is already baseball’s best shortstop, you can simply point to his performance, and to the performances of the other shortstops. What could be easier? Correa, of course, hasn’t played a full 2015 season, but he has batted a couple hundred times, so let’s look at the numbers and keep them all above a common, 600-plate-appearance denominator. Do that and Correa comes out as a top-10 position player. The closest shortstop, by WAR, is Brandon Crawford, who trails by just about two wins. Whatever you think of the error bars in WAR, two wins per 600 plate appearances is a big margin. The argument, in other words, has decent support.

Why no: projections. Statistics reflect talent, but they can also mislead. It can be better to refer to the projections, as they can be a decent proxy for current estimated true talent. Projections don’t suffer from recency bias. They don’t suffer from hype, and they don’t suffer from any sort of overreactions. Looking at the shortstop depth-chart projections, and putting WAR over 600 plate appearances, Correa is basically tied with Crawford and Jhonny Peralta, a win behind Troy Tulowitzki. Some months ago, Tulowitzki was the unquestioned best shortstop in baseball. How much should we really reconsider, after part of one season?

If you choose to believe Tulowitzki remains the best shortstop, that’s fine. It’s totally justifiable, and Correa still doesn’t have an extended track record. Could have a slump just ahead of him. Could be a bad one. But as absurd as it might sound, Correa really does have an argument of his own. He’s been that good to date, and if you don’t believe he’s better than Tulowitzki yet, it seems only a matter of time until the trend lines intersect. One of them turns 31 in two months. One of them can finally buy his own drink in a month and a half.

We have a pretty good idea that Correa’s defense is there. He didn’t draw negative evaluations in the minors, he’s so far avoided weight gain, and the small-sample defensive numbers are positive. It’s harder to believe his instant-impact offense. In fact, the projections don’t believe it — though Correa’s sitting on a .381 wOBA, he’s projected the rest of the way at .319. It’s here I point out Correa doesn’t have any sort of unsustainable ball-in-play luck. The projections are just reluctant to see a 20-year-old as being an immediate terror.

Which, yeah, we should all be. This isn’t normal. That’s informing the projection. Also informing the projection: Correa didn’t exactly blaze through Triple-A. But he did destroy Double-A, after destroying High-A, and he’s also destroyed the majors. With every passing week, there are fewer and fewer doubts. The presence of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper makes us vulnerable to the overrating of youth. Yet Correa seems challenging to overrate.

For an idea of something that makes Correa special, consider the following video highlights.

Big home run! Pulled with authority.

Big home run! Pushed with authority.

Correa, so far, has had outstanding success to left field, and also outstanding success to right. Pulling the ball, he has a 228 wRC+. Going the other way, he has a 213 wRC+. These are based on pretty small samples, but they’re still promising, because Correa has demonstrated his ability to hit with power to all fields. That’s a difficult thing to fake. For the sake of perspective, here’s the list of hitters who, since 2010, have managed a 200 or better wRC+ to the pull side and the other way:

That’s it. And Correa doesn’t have Davis’ whiffing habit. Relaxing the standards, here’s the list of hitters at 150 or better:

Good hitters, almost every single one. Baker has a strange presence, but then he’s been heavily platooned, so this doesn’t reflect him as an everyday player. These players have proven more than Correa has. There’s a reason Correa isn’t included — he doesn’t have the track record yet, so we have to be gentle with his statistics. But this is why they’re so encouraging. He isn’t just feasting on balls he can pull. He’s showing both contact and plate coverage, and when you can do what Correa has already shown, you have to try really hard to be bad.

There’s this other interesting thing, too. Something that makes Correa look fairly unusual. Of his groundballs, he’s pulled 46% of them. He also has an ISO of .266. Here’s the relationship between those numbers, again since 2010:

iso-grounder-pulled

Tends to be, power hitters pull more of their grounders. This has something to do with the swing paths, and at the top of the pulled-grounder list, you find names like Chris Davis and Chris Carter and Mark Teixeira. At the bottom are Jean Segura, Ben Revere, Ichiro Suzuki, and Nori Aoki. One weird exception I’ve written about before is Corey Dickerson, who you see all by himself toward the upper left. There’s also Ryan Zimmerman, Prince Fielder, and Yasmani Grandal. There’s a small group of hitters who can hit for power without pulling too many grounders. Correa might belong in that group, depending on where his numbers go from here. This isn’t as amazing as the information above, but it’s weird, further evidence that Correa isn’t like most other players or prospects.

As you’d expect, as Correa has gone along in his rookie season, opponents have tried to make adjustments. They’ve seen what he’s done, and they’ve looked for his weaknesses. Correa has played in 50 games, so I split his season in 25-game halves. In the second half, he’s gone from seeing 50% fastballs to 60% fastballs. He’s gone from seeing nearly half of all pitches in the strike zone to something closer to 40%. And yet, power’s still been there. Correa has dropped his chase rate. His K-BB% has improved from 17% to 6%. His batting average has dropped, but he’s remained successful, and it could be that whole drop is simple luck. The approach is good. The authority is good.

It isn’t unprecedented for a rookie to have immediate big-league success. Following the initial adjustment, though, there are adjustments to adjustments, opponents learning what a player is all about. Sometimes, this can mean an extended slump, as we saw last year with Xander Bogaerts. We could still see that with Correa, who has an awful lot left to learn. But at least so far, Correa has survived the adjustments. He’s been able to adjust back. He’s been able to look like baseball’s best shortstop. Maybe he hasn’t yet earned that title. If not, it feels like a matter of time.



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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Chris
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Chris
9 months 18 days ago

It’s so weird to think that it was not long ago at all that there was a general thought that Houston had messed up big-time by passing on Buxton over Correa.

Ryan
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Ryan
9 months 17 days ago

Can’t find comment button. I would say Jose Iglesias is the best SS right now. Best fielding SS in the MLB. Best range. Best arm. And he’s batting .320

Jake
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Jake
9 months 17 days ago

jose iglesias is not a better fielder than andrelton simmons

Alcides Escobar
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Alcides Escobar
9 months 17 days ago

No respect…

Brendan Dillon
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Brendan Dillon
9 months 17 days ago

Button up that shirt, your Tiger stripes are showing. You sound liek my grandfather, talking about BA. That .314ish BA has resulted in a whopping WAR of 2.0 over 96 games, versus Correa’s 2.7 in 51 games. Iglesias’ D is nice, but his walk rate is mediocre at best and he hits for less power than a wet paper sack. Iglesias is a good shortstop among the current batch… but largely because the current batch is mostly pretty weak.

Rick
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Rick
9 months 16 days ago

FTW–? Iglesias’ D is nice?! Sign my up!! Hot.

Jorge
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Jorge
9 months 15 days ago

Well it’s pretty obvious he is trolling you…don’t need to get all fired up

Jesus Rosado
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Jesus Rosado
9 months 17 days ago

Iglesias is not even top 3, best defensive and best Arm at SS is Simmons, Iglesias is batting .320 but has zero power he basically is a singles hitter the .avg stat doesn’t show how many extra bases a player has, even Correa has more RBI and Runs in half the games because the power difference is huge, Tulo is hands down the best SS in the MLB nobody except for Correa has his OFF/DEF combo, Correa in my mind is already the 2nd best SS in the Majors but I won’t be surprised if he is the best by next year, right now Tulo has the edge because of his track record.

Christian
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Christian
9 months 15 days ago

Tulo is a beast. probably better today. hes also over a decade older than correa. being the massive Astros fan I am (as brutal as the past five years were) I sure hope he doesn’t get hurt. If he was in NY or Boston or LA he would be the next “face of baseball” the next Jeter with more power.

Christian
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Christian
9 months 15 days ago

You are an idiot. average is a LARGELY over rated stat with the introduction of saber metrics the past years. ask josh Donaldson who is the best third basemen in the game ( usually top three in the WAR column)and he hardly hits over 250 seen Correa in person three times now. His talent isn’t the only thing that is just jaw dropping. To me its his presence. He cant even legally buy alcohol and he does things like its an expectation of himself.(arrogance and poise are a must for greatness(which are obviously a rare combo) in his first multi homer game, his first home run was a slider low and in that he was so fooled on when he made contact he had one hand on the bat, but he kept his weight back. one handed it over the left field fence.(incredible strength to keep his weight back and allow torque to remain in his swing) later in the game he drove a mid nineties fastball opposite field to the right of our bullpen. power to all fields. great range at short. can throw 100mph across the diamond. a swing anmiss rate of 8.3 is incredible. not to mention his incredible bat speed. like stated in the article above almost half the balls he puts in play are going over 100 mph….. insane. First at bat I ever saw of him, he hit a line drive 50ft over the 404 sign in left field. do the math on how far that ball would have gone. it left the yard in about 2 seconds. the kid never cracked a smile til he got to the dugout. He has it all, future gold glover, silver slugger, MVP, and this all can happen as soon as next year. if you take his number from this season (missing two months at the beginning of the year to to finances) hed hit over 285 over 40 homers and obviously over 100 rbis. please, when you have no idea what on earth your talking about don’t make comments. he will be the rookie of the year in the AL and the MVP next year.

Monstermash
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Monstermash
9 months 15 days ago

You don’t have to be a dick about it. Sheesh.

Salter1432
Member
Salter1432
9 months 14 days ago

Try proofreading

Christian
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Christian
9 months 15 days ago

Right. The real mistake was the following draft taking appel. should have taken that other pitcher who was high nineties to triple digits. he was just out of highschool and not as polished of a pitcher. makes no sense since taking correa so young they obviously are chasing talent. u cant teach 100 mph to mark appel, but you can teach a change up and command to an 18 kid chunkin that kind of cheese

Jayson Werth Chia Beard
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Jayson Werth Chia Beard
9 months 17 days ago
Yoenis the Mets savior
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Yoenis the Mets savior
9 months 17 days ago

Who has the highest ceiling out of Correa, Pederson, Bryant, Javier Baez, Schwarber, Russell, Franco, Lindor, Buxton, Sano?

Dr. Obvious
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Dr. Obvious
9 months 17 days ago

In order of ceiling (realistic ceiling)

Correa
Bryant
Buxton
Sano
Pederson
Schwarber
Russell
Franco
Baez
Lindor

tz
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tz
9 months 17 days ago

That’s basically what I would say.

Though for the absolute, best case ceiling, I’d put Schwarber up around Bryant or Buxton on the outside chance that he sticks at catcher and keeps hitting like the next Piazza.

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
9 months 16 days ago

It’s not an outside chance he sticks at catcher, he’s a catcher. He will likely be a well above average defensive catcher very soon, given his explosive athleticism and natural understanding of hitting. He might one day move to first, I suppose.

I think my eyes show me he’s safely amongst the top ten hitters in baseball already. He’s a once in a generation lefty bat.

I spy HOF level talent in Schwarber and Correa, that’s my prediction where they end up. I think Bryant and Russell are future well above average regulars, potential perennial all stars. Buxton, Lindor, Sano, Pederson, Franco are all strong candidates to have successfully productive careers as regulars, though some only briefly. Baez never pans out.

state the obvious
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state the obvious
9 months 17 days ago

just ceiling baez is way higher.

Cool Lester Smooth
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Cool Lester Smooth
9 months 17 days ago

Than Franco, and Pederson, yes.

Cool Lester Smooth
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Cool Lester Smooth
9 months 17 days ago

I’d still put Buxton above Bryant.

Grady Sizemore with knees vs. Troy Glaus.

tz
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tz
9 months 17 days ago

If Buxton can keep his 80 speed AND his high injury frequency, he just might be the next Eric Davis.

Which would make baseball just that much greater.

tz
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tz
9 months 17 days ago

PS – not that Buxton or Davis being injury-prone is great…but Davis was basically was what Bo Jackson might have been if he had played baseball 100% of the time after high school.

Doubt the Buxton
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Doubt the Buxton
9 months 17 days ago

I don’t know, I just am not sold on Buxton. He seems to ALWAYS be hurt.

bookbook
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bookbook
9 months 16 days ago

My recollection is that Eric Davis and Bo Jackson had such different body types/styles that it’s hard to get my mind around the comparison…

Will Graham
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Will Graham
9 months 17 days ago

Correa
Buxton
Sano
Bryant
Russell
Lindor
Baez
Pederson
Schwarber
Franco

Cool Lester Smooth
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Cool Lester Smooth
9 months 17 days ago

Yeah, this is what I would say, although I might put Baez above Lindor and Schwarber above Pederson, depending on how “realistic” we’re being.

busy scouting t-ball
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busy scouting t-ball
9 months 17 days ago

Yeah baez above lindor. Schwarber over pederson and lindor. I probably put lindor last in my opinion of realistic.

Cool Lester Smooth
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Cool Lester Smooth
9 months 17 days ago

I’d definitely put Lindor over Pederson and Franco, and maybe Schwarber…again depending on what “realistic” means.

mooks
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mooks
9 months 17 days ago

I’d say Matt Duffy clearly has the highest ceiling amongst MLB rookies, as we all should have supposed years ago.

vecnyj
Member
Member
vecnyj
9 months 14 days ago

He’s 24

Bob Loblaw
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Bob Loblaw
9 months 17 days ago

For absolute ceilings and fantasy purposes?

1) Bryant (guys who may have 50HR seasons with OBP skills are going to be at the top)
2) Schwarber (position scarcity and he looks like he has one of the quickest bats in baseball)
3) Correa (even bigger position scarcity than at C, but I don’t see him keeping up his HR/ab rate)
4) Buxton (McCutcheon upside)
5) Russell (gorgeous swing…hits will eventually follow)
6) Pederson (big power but an OF with lack of SBs will suffer in impact)
7) Sano (has been roiding since he was a teenager, no idea if his body will hold up)
8) Franco (low upside, high floor)
9) Baez (such a long swing, but has been working on cutting it down)
10) Lindor (better player than fantasy player)

Cat Latos
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Cat Latos
9 months 17 days ago

id say because of positional depth and value, its probably Correa and Schwarber.

John
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John
9 months 17 days ago

I think people are underrating Russell – a shortstop who is above average to plus on defense who has the potential (which is what we’re talking about here) to hit ~20 home runs is a rare commodity. I also believe Bryant’s ceiling is a bit overrated – the reason he’s such a highly rated player has less to do with his ceiling than how high is floor is. Zips projects Russell. Zips projects Russell to have a 2020 WAR of 5.6, while Bryant’s is projected to be 4.7 (Correa’s projection is 5.9).

Randal Grichuk
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Randal Grichuk
9 months 16 days ago

I am a rookie too ya know…

Damaso
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Damaso
9 months 17 days ago

I love you writers but i’m starting to feel like you guys are the Lucy to us poor Charlie Brown fans.

Rookie Seasons

B.Lawrie (21): 171pa, 9.4bb%, 18.1k%, .318babip, .287iso, 157wrc+, 2.6war
C.Correa (21): 218pa, 7.3bb%, 18.8k%, .299babip, .266iso, 147wrc+, 2.6war

patience.

Damaso
Member
Damaso
9 months 17 days ago

p.s. comparing Correa’s 50gms to other players’ full seasons likely renders most of those statistical comps less than useful.

you probably want to search for 50gm segments for other players.

TKDC
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TKDC
9 months 17 days ago

I was going to post the same thing about Lawrie, if you’ll remember a lot of people said he was the second coming:

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2011/9/13/2423308/can-god-create-a-prospect-he-cant-get-out-brett-lawrie-vs-mike-trout

Paul M
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Paul M
9 months 14 days ago

I was thinking of “Lawrie” the entire time reading the article. I’m guessing by your username you were watching all those Jays games when he got called up that year and hit like Babe Ruth while defending like Brooks Robinson (hyperbole alert!).

Correa looks like a special player, and it’s great to see. But I’m not calling him the best SS in baseball until he does it for more than one SSS. I think it’s Tulo because I don’t like a one-season sample size to say best at X position in the game. Tulo doesn’t lead in this year’s WAR list for SS, but like over the last few years and it’s him and Peralta at the top of the list again and again.

Mike Green
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Mike Green
9 months 17 days ago

Correa is 20. Big difference.

For fun, I had a look back at A-Rod’s age 20 season. It was a great year. It’s really hard to believe that anybody felt that Juan Gonzalez (who won the MVP narrowly) was better that year. I guess the fact that Gonzalez drove in 23 more runs was enough to sway some people. Amazing.

state the obvious
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state the obvious
9 months 17 days ago

4 month difference, hardly a big difference.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
9 months 17 days ago

It’s not really a big difference. It’s actually the smallest difference possible, when limited to whole numbers. If it matters, the literal difference is about 10 months (factoring in DOB and debut).

Kyle
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Kyle
9 months 17 days ago

Pretty sure him and Griffey split the vote. Albert Belle’s numbers were better than both of them. He just happened to be a -23 defensive OF.

Gonzalez 89/47/144/0/.314/.368/.614
Belle 124/48/148/11/.319/.410/.623
A-Rod 141/36/123/15/.356/.422/.563

TKDC
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TKDC
9 months 17 days ago

Belle’s defense had nothing to do with him missing out on awards.

TheFightingJoeBucks
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TheFightingJoeBucks
9 months 17 days ago

Uh…. Correa is 20

state the obvious
Guest
state the obvious
9 months 17 days ago

lawrie was 4 months older.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
9 months 17 days ago

Lawrie was 8 months older, and also debuted 2 months later than Correa, if we are picking nits. It’s not a big deal. Using a tiny age difference to rebut the “don’t jump to conclusions” example that Lawrie presents is stupid.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
9 months 17 days ago

Seriously. We’re talking about 218 PA, here. Slow the anointment roll.

HoratioSky
Guest
HoratioSky
9 months 17 days ago

Agreed. I am trying not to hate this guy but I am already tired of hearing how he’s something that we have never seen before. The kid has had a nice 200 AB’s in the minors, and has done it at a very young age. He will probably end up very good but the gushing between the MLB radio guys is getting a bit ridiculous. If I still ever listened to ESPN I can’t imagine how bad it is over there. Many high-ranked guys rake when they first come up to the show. Now, if his 2nd and 3rd year in the majors he plays the full year and puts up a 145+ WRC, then I think it would be more deserved.

Brendan Dillon
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Brendan Dillon
9 months 17 days ago

Have you ever seen a Shortstop hit 13 HRs through their first 50 games before? Right there, that’s something you’ve never seen before. He hasn’t had a ‘nice’ 200 abs, he’s had a historically good 200 ABs. Do you wait three years to appreciate a perfect game?

horatiosky
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horatiosky
9 months 16 days ago

Poor choice of words then I agree, but I want think we should be throwing out ‘best SS in baseball’ after at least 2 full seasons of baseball, and maybe 3 to be more precise. I don’t think it is wise to say “xxxx” is the best “enter position here” because they had a historic 2 months. I would bet that there are many guys that have had an awesome 2 months of baseball that could be called historic, that were not hall of famers at the end of their career.

tz
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tz
9 months 17 days ago

The Lawrie comparison is a great bucket of cold water on over-extrapolating Correa’s awesome start. Though I wonder what Lawrie’s career would have looked like had he not gotten dinged up all the time (see also Jason Heyward).

The only prediction I’ll confidently make is that Jeff will keep turning out the breakdowns of how Correa’s doing, being pitched to, etc., just like he’s done with Trout.

Sean
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Sean
9 months 17 days ago

There is a difference in pedigree though. Lawrie was a top 100 guy but was an up and down prospect who got particularly hot that year. Correa came into the year a top 5 prospect and just kept getting better.

TKDC
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TKDC
9 months 17 days ago

No. That’s not what happened. People thought Lawrie was better than Trout.

K
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K
9 months 17 days ago

People thought Lawrie was better than Trout

Evidence?

Cat Latos
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Cat Latos
9 months 17 days ago

Im going to have to agree here. Correa has been seen since he was 14 years old. This isnt a fluke. We can look at the numbers all we want, but there is still value in actual amateur scouting.

Andrew
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Andrew
9 months 16 days ago
Paul M
Guest
Paul M
9 months 14 days ago

Reading those comments on that link is kind of weird now. I wonder what the guy decided to do who couldn’t decide between Trout and Lawrie for his fantasy keeper league…

sikwitit2113
Guest
sikwitit2113
9 months 17 days ago

The big difference between the, two beyond the ratios, is that all of Lawrie’s power and homers were to his pull side that year, which became an exploited weakness as he went around the league.

Correa has already shown he has power the other way and not a glaring weakness that can be later exploited as Lawrie has since endured.

BenRevereDoesSteroids
Guest
BenRevereDoesSteroids
9 months 17 days ago

This gets 27 upvotes but people who said the same thing about Mookie Betts and his 213 PAs last year got ripped to pieces on this blog.

Damaso
Member
Damaso
9 months 17 days ago

I was one of those saying the same about Mook…..so keep faith….we’re winning!

horatiosky
Guest
horatiosky
9 months 16 days ago

Yes but Mookie Betts is short. There are a large number of experts and fans alike that think that a guy’s upside is limited by his height. They continue to say it in scouting reports to this day.

Dr. Obvious
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Dr. Obvious
9 months 17 days ago

I say #2 SS right now behind Tulo & no one is really close to either one of them

mooks
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mooks
9 months 17 days ago

Except maybe the guy who is performing better than Tulo this year and leads SS in WAR and home runs. And isn’t walking six measly percent.

mooks
Guest
mooks
9 months 17 days ago

Just joshin he’s actually just as bad! Shortstops don’t wanna all anymore.

bernie Sanders
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bernie Sanders
9 months 17 days ago

I would say it is Iglesias. High average and best defensive shortstop not named Simmons.

Brendan Dillon
Guest
Brendan Dillon
9 months 17 days ago

Batting average? Really? Gonna ignore the ‘meh’ walk rate and the complete lack of power? What next, are you going to start hyping runs scored?

RobM
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RobM
9 months 17 days ago

Yes.

Jung Ho Kang
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Jung Ho Kang
9 months 17 days ago

I’m the best damn SS in the World

Papa Jeets
Guest
Papa Jeets
9 months 17 days ago

How quickly we forget the great ones. RE2PECT.

Boss Correa
Guest
Boss Correa
9 months 17 days ago
Death to Flying Things
Guest
Death to Flying Things
9 months 17 days ago

How quickly we forget media overexposure and slick marketing campaigns and groupthink narratives. Maybe there is hope.

dr DETROIT
Guest
dr DETROIT
9 months 17 days ago

Iggy is the best SS in MLB, the dude is Magic

pudieron89
Member
pudieron89
9 months 17 days ago

yes

state the obvious
Guest
state the obvious
9 months 17 days ago

ill take simmons. give me the best defense at short all day.

JasonB
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JasonB
9 months 17 days ago

*Snicker*

Jed Landmark
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Jed Landmark
9 months 17 days ago

Correa’s defense is probably the same or better than Simmons aleady. . .sorry bro.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
9 months 17 days ago

Hahahahahahahahahaah

*breathes*

ahahahahahahahaha

Planet Earth
Guest
Planet Earth
9 months 17 days ago

You’re wrong

Pete Carroll
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Pete Carroll
9 months 17 days ago

Oh heavens.

NickB
Guest
NickB
9 months 14 days ago

uh… no, Simmons has the greatest DRS per game played of anyone in history.

so, no. not even close.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
9 months 17 days ago

Did Troy Tulowitzki die?

Ryan
Guest
Ryan
9 months 17 days ago

No, but now that he plays in Toronto, he needs to be careful:
https://xkcd.com/180/

Cat Latos
Guest
Cat Latos
9 months 17 days ago

yes and he was reincarnated as Carlos Correa

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
9 months 17 days ago

As far as the best young infielder I’ve ever seen – Alex Rodriguez at 20. Carlos Correa at 20. Troy Tulowitzki at 22. Manny Machado at 23.

He’s surely amongst the best young players I’ve ever witnessed

Trout at 20
A Rod at 20
Harper at 19
Griffey Jr at 21
Correa at 20
Tulowitzki at 22
Bonds at 23
Machado at 23
A. Jones at 23

Carlos Correa is unreal. He’s so good I’m a Cubs fan and wish the NL central still had six teams, quite literally, all because of him.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
9 months 17 days ago

My one regret about having been out of the states this summer is that I haven’t been able to watch Correa as much as I was able to see Harper at 19.

One of my favorite baseball memories is a game when Harper hit a pop fly double down the LF line in a meaningless May game.

Correa, like Harper, is just a pleasure to watch play baseball.

busy scouting t-ball
Guest
busy scouting t-ball
9 months 17 days ago

I think harper was mlb ready at 16 and 17. Nof great but probably league average.

Weston T
Guest
Weston T
9 months 17 days ago

If we’re talking just defense, Arenado deserves to be on that list as well.

Tom Au
Guest
Tom Au
9 months 17 days ago

In the early 1990s, the Houston Astros “passed” on a shortstop named Derek Jeter. They didn’t make the same mistake a second time.

james
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james
9 months 15 days ago

Actually this time they targeted him to save money… Buxton wanted more money, Correa would take less. At the end of the day, the most brilliant draft moves.

Take Correa saving some pool money, draft Lance McCullers who wanted over slot money (since he slipped in the draft). Looking back, It is the draft move that made the astros what they are… other teams do this, but the stros do it to the nth degree every year, and the first time they did it with gusto, worked out to give them their star SS and very quality arm (this is a better statement last week before lance was sent down, but you have to remember the kid is young too and had a big jump in work load)

ElJimador
Guest
ElJimador
9 months 17 days ago

Not to be a wet blanket but let’s remember how Joc Pederson and Kris Bryant were doing through a similar # of PAs this season, vs how they’ve done since:

Pederson through his first 220 PAs this season: .267/.393/.606 (.998 ops)
Pederson since: .174/.310/.292 (.602 ops)

Bryant through his first 222 PAs this season: .283/.396/.467 (.864 ops)
Bryant since: .207/.309/.397 (.705 ops)

Which is of course not to say that Correa will follow suit. I just need a larger sample than 200+ PAs before I’d call any rookie the best at his position.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan
9 months 17 days ago

Pederson, Bryant, and, as someone else mentioned above, Lawrie all had great starts in approximately 200 at bats before cooling off considerably. Has anyone done any research on whether this is the “typical” time frame that it takes the league to “adjust to” or otherwise develop a scouting report/strategy to pitch to rookie hitters? And I guess a logical follow up would be trying to assess how long it takes the rookie hitter to make his own adjustments to the league’s strategy.

Bryan
Guest
Bryan
9 months 17 days ago

With Bryant and Pederson, there were glaring signs pointing to their flaws. Both players have huge swing-and-miss aspects to their games.

Correa has flashed plus-power but with a much more sustainable approach, with a strikeout rate of 18.8 percent that is just below the league average. He also has a swinging strike rate of just 8.3 percent on the season, despite just 45.0 percent of the pitches thrown to him coming inside the zone.

All that is to say that he’s always had a decent eye at the plate with above average walk rates and sustainable strikeout rates. He’s just a very polished hitter for his age. It’s not crazy to think that disciple won’t improve as he gets adjusted to the league.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
9 months 17 days ago

So he’s more of a Lawrie than a Pederson or Bryant in terms of how sustainable we should expect his success to be?

Prospects, they’ll break yah heaht.

Chuck
Guest
Chuck
9 months 17 days ago

Good point

But I think it is also important to note that neither Pederson, nor Bryant play shortstop, so it would’ve been pretty weird to talk about them when discussing who is the best shortstop.

Bryan
Guest
Bryan
9 months 17 days ago

I agree that it’s too early to anoint him the games next great player, but at what point does a player stop being a “prospect”, a sample size stop being too small, and do we just take what our eyes are seeing as true? I mean, even Trout was a “prospect” at one point and we questioned whether his success was sustainable. Clearly he’s answered that with a resounding yes.

Correa’s pedigree, minor league numbers, and MLB stats all tell us he’s legitimate. Add to that his intangibles….specifically a stated desire to get better and the fact he seems like a humble kid…as well as all the reports scouts have had on this kid makes me think there’s no reason he can’t be Tulo in his prime or Machado without the knee injuries.

Damaso
Member
Damaso
9 months 17 days ago

this is what i was getting at with the lawrie comp.

i really think the trap we fall into is just a data issue – when we run historical comps we have easy access to single season data for past players, but not for partial seasons.

the proper comparisons here shoukd be be to past 2-month samples, not past full season samples…..which, as the lawrie, pederson, bryant travis, betts, etc. etc. etc demlnstrate which would make these seemingky remarkable hot rookie starts look much less rare than we think.

J
Guest
J
9 months 17 days ago

Correa has actually been improving lately.

AF
Guest
AF
9 months 17 days ago

Hypothetical trade: Tulowitzki to the Astros for Correa, with the Blue Jays sending enough money ($75M?) to make both players equally expensive through 2021. Seems like the Astros take that deal.

Rick
Guest
Rick
9 months 17 days ago

That’s an interesting way to look at the Tulo or Correa question, but I have to wonder if the injury issue might not actually make Houston prefer to stick with Correa.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
9 months 17 days ago

Nope. They love Correa. Everyone I’ve read who’s ever spoken to the kid has a man-crush on him.

He’s supposed to have Jeterian intangibles, even before you consider the fact that they be trading Correa’s 21-26 years for Tulo’s 31-35/36 years.

redsoxu571
Guest
redsoxu571
9 months 16 days ago

You shouldn’t use made-up adjectives that represent myths, it isn’t very becoming.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
9 months 15 days ago

The only people on this planet who refuse to understand what “Jeterian intangibles” means, or that makeup is a very real thing, are the ones who are surprised that Sandoval stopped trying after getting paid.

tz
Guest
tz
9 months 17 days ago

From now until the end of next year, I’d take Tulo just slightly over Correa, even with his injury history. But Correa’s 2017-2021 seasons are a great bet to blow away what Tulo’s going to do over that same time period, all else (injuries) being equal.

james
Guest
james
9 months 15 days ago

and in a few years will we be having the Gleyber Torres or Correa discussion. (i just picked another young SS prospect- insert your choide, Crawford/mondesi/seager/ect)

atoms
Guest
atoms
9 months 17 days ago

I doubt it

Dave T
Guest
Dave T
9 months 17 days ago

Don’t think so. Keep the guy who is 10 years younger, especially since the older guy has a history of injuries

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
9 months 17 days ago

If I knew each player would play the same number of games (or even if Tulo played 10 fewer per year) I’d take Tulo in a heartbeat. Tulo’s injury risk is much larger than Correa’s “fizzle risk” or whatever you want to call it.

Plucky
Guest
Plucky
9 months 17 days ago

If you are Correa and Jeff Luhnow says, “10 years. How much?” What’s the answer?

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
9 months 17 days ago

“That caught me off guard, Jeff. Perhaps you would be better served contacting my agent.”

Dr. Evil
Guest
Dr. Evil
9 months 17 days ago

Hmmmmmmm…. ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

Number 2
Guest
Number 2
9 months 17 days ago

Actually, we were thinking more like 100 billion dollars.

Eric
Guest
Eric
9 months 17 days ago

That’s a great question. Wish I knew more about how contracts buying out the team control/first few FA years worked so I could give a better answer. I wouldn’t sign for less than $150 mil though?

james
Guest
james
9 months 15 days ago

3 years of rookie, then 3 years of arbitration, so only 4 years of FA… so years 1-3 are 1m total, arb years will be in the 10m-15m-20m range for the 3 years, and FA, i will go 25m per season.

So 145 million would be a pretty reasonable expectation for his earnings over those years… assume that inflation cancels out the risk of a long term deal.

If i am his agent- I ask for 300 million and settle for something over 150 million

Jed Landmark
Guest
Jed Landmark
9 months 17 days ago

Iglesias? That was a joke, right?

kid
Member
kid
9 months 17 days ago

Regarding the Lawrie comp – Brett was not really touted as a middle-of-the-order hitter. He was projected to have some pop for a middle-infielder, in addition to speed and solid defense. It’s not his fault that that his partial rookie season set our expectations so high for him moving forward. Since then he’s been basically what we thought – probably a .270/15/15 guy in a full season, and he’s a perfectly useful MLB player. (I did the math, and he’s pacing 18 HR/12 SB per 162-games played).

Correa was supposed to have a higher power ceiling – Kiley put a 60/65 (PV/FV) on Correa’s power tool – and I’m betting that Lawrie’s was something more like 45/50. For that reason I’m more optimistic about Correa maintaining at least that aspect of his hot start. The aforementioned reasons about him being able to hold his own with respect to plate discipline and batted ball profile are the other reasons.

Buck Rotgut
Guest
Buck Rotgut
9 months 17 days ago

One season does not statistical stabilization make.

james
Guest
james
9 months 15 days ago

depends on the stat, many start to stabilize after only about 100 plate appearances. I think someone did the research on this (want to say pizza cutter or something like that)

Damaso
Member
Damaso
9 months 17 days ago

and anyways, Manny Machado is an SS.

pitnick
Guest
pitnick
9 months 17 days ago

Does the “an SS” thing read weird to anyone else? I’ve seen this a lot lately. My eye hitches when seeing an “an” precede anything but a vowel. When I unhitch myself, I read it aloud in my head, but when my eyes see “SS,” my brain says “shortstop,” so that doesn’t really help. I get how it could be correct, but it always throws me.

Damaso
Member
Damaso
9 months 17 days ago

heh. that’s funny.

That Guy
Guest
That Guy
9 months 17 days ago

To answer your first question, no.

redsoxu571
Guest
redsoxu571
9 months 16 days ago

I would say that any real baseball fan who lives and breathes on the positional acronyms reads “SS” as “shortstop”. And so yes, “an SS” reads as a typo to me.

Not saying it’s unforgivable for people to disagree, but by default I would think “a SS” would be the majority correct form.

Then again, I hate when people refer to the Star Wars walkers as “at-ats” instead of “A.T.-A.T.”, so it’s something of a grab-bag (to be fair, SS actually represents a word, while the Star Wars vehicles only have their designations, and nobody says AT-ST any other way than “A.T.-S.T.”

Dagron
Guest
Dagron
9 months 16 days ago

Every time I see SS I just flash to those shitty Nazi goons. Then i feel very silly. I spend a lot of time feeling very silly…

editor guy
Guest
editor guy
9 months 16 days ago

It probably looks wrong because a lot of style conventions would agree with you. Those ones direct their writers to choose “a” or “an” based on the phonetics of the full word (not the abbreviation) that follows. Neither is wrong, but style guides exist to decide such questions.

james
Guest
james
9 months 15 days ago

the real point here- yes machado would be the best SS in baseball if the Os played him there, but they want to let hardy play there, so we count him as a SS.

The nuttiest thing is how many players moved away from their natural position of SS to keep hardy around. Schoop was a really good SS that moved to 2b (in bowie back in the day) to put machado and him int he same infield (i think Hoes was still getting reps at 2b in bowie at the time too). Moving Manny meant moving Davis to corner OF/1b away from the 3b he had been playing. Really that whole infield got shuffled just to play their worst infeilder (hardy) at his natural position.

WhereAreMyPants
Guest
WhereAreMyPants
9 months 14 days ago

James,

That’s simply not true. Schoop was a fair to average shortstop, who was projected to, and has, outgrown the position. Machado played short his entire minor league career until reaching Baltimore, where he moved aside, so the Orioles could continue playing a multiple gold glove (yeah yeah, I know, just hold on) winner at his natural position.

Hardy’s been between 8-18 drs, and 6.1-18.4 uzr/150 for his career in Baltimore.

Hardy’s skill set means he really can’t play third. Machado can. Sounds reasonable to play your two best defensive infielders, instead of benching one for the other, doesn’t it?

I’d imagine that the O’s would love to see Machado’s knees hold up for another season or two, then slide him to short as Hardy ages out. Then Schoop, who’s turned out to be a much better fielder than anybody actually expected, can slide to third.

Buck Rotgut
Guest
Buck Rotgut
9 months 17 days ago

Three words: small sample size.

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
9 months 17 days ago

Dismiss the results and you’re still left with one of the sweetest swings in baseball.

A lot of skeptics are arguing that because the league has successfully made major adjustments to other players, that the league will make a successful major adjustment to Carlos Correa.

I think you people play too many fantasy sports and don’t watch enough actual games. This guy isn’t maybe elite. He’s elite.

Death To Flying Things
Guest
Death To Flying Things
9 months 17 days ago

Two words: flawless mechanics

Cat Latos
Guest
Cat Latos
9 months 17 days ago

His minor league spray chart for me shows his BABIP is probably stable. The glove is plus and the arm is plus to plus plus. As for power… do yourself a favor and watch him take batting practice if hes ever in your town.

Not a fluke… and I suppose this time next year we will be talking “Is Carlos Correa Already The Best Player in Baseball.”

Nick
Guest
Nick
9 months 17 days ago

Didn’t we already go through this with Brad Miller?

BenRevereDoesSteroids
Guest
BenRevereDoesSteroids
9 months 17 days ago

Dustin Ackley in 2011.

Roger
Guest
Roger
9 months 17 days ago

No, no, he was only the best shortstop in the AL, not the MLB:

https://twitter.com/dcameronfg/status/451224501171527680

Cat Latos
Guest
Cat Latos
9 months 17 days ago

had to be his framing skills

Only Glove, No Love
Guest
Only Glove, No Love
9 months 17 days ago

The interesting thing is how easy it is to point out how different this guy is from the prospects who could not sustain their tremendous starts. As soon as someone mentions a name, the distinction jumps out. The flaws that MLB pitching exploited in those other guys just aren’t there with this guy. He really probably is as good as he seems right now. Hard to get my head around it.

Goldsteins Dumb Fedora
Guest
Goldsteins Dumb Fedora
9 months 17 days ago

The pitchers did adjust… and it lasted two to three weeks. Correa adjusted back.

sneaky_flute
Guest
sneaky_flute
9 months 17 days ago

Small sample sizes don’t apply to top 50 prospects

Tyler Durden
Guest
Tyler Durden
9 months 17 days ago

Rookies performance broken down by pitches
Player 4seam+Sinker Cutter+Curve+Slider
AVG SLG AVG SLG
Correa .297 .550 .297 .563
pederson .207 .402 .221 .390
Bryant .293 .459 .230 .452
Girchuck .285 .505 .217 .429
Duffy .299 .418 .281 .438
Travis .330 .580 .270 .392
Kang .348 .490 .232 .453
Betts(14) .317 .500 .222 .222
Trout(12) .306 .508 .350 .576

So guys doing well against cutter+slider+curve do better in the long run. Betts has regressed since his rookie season while trout became … well TROUT.

Joe
Guest
Joe
9 months 17 days ago

To the people that say sample size, Lawrie this blah blah, have yall watched the guy play consistently? I bet not. This kids approach, pitch recog., is by far the best on the astros, the 1st place west team, which he is batting 3 hole on. He’s already made adjustments to inside pitches during a mini-slump. His BABIP should improve still, hes walking more now. I understand some of yall just want to be pessimistic for the sake of it, but watch the game before spouting off an opinion. This guy is legit and is already an absolute joy to watch. Just enjoy it instead of hoping/expecting he regresses.

Cat Latos
Guest
Cat Latos
9 months 17 days ago

Here is Correa’s minor league spray chart vs his major league spray chart.

You tell me if it looks like he is doing the same thing in the minors as he is doing in the majors? Cause its nearly identical.

Kris
Guest
Kris
9 months 17 days ago

As an Astros fan, I try to temper my expectations for the kid and keep preparing for him to hit a wall, but what has surprised me is how quickly he makes adjustments.

He’ll a have a 3 or 4 game dip in production, the point where you say, “Okay, here’s where all the young guys fall off. It’s normal”. But, then he will make adjustments and take off again.

The ability and tools are not that surprising, because we’ve been hearing about them for a few years now. But his approach and the willingness to change his game when he’s always been able to “out talent” people at lower levels is the amazing thing.

There are guys that are 10 year veterans that are still making the same mistakes they did when they first were called up.

Phantom Stranger
Guest
Phantom Stranger
9 months 16 days ago

It’s apparent that superstar prospects are hitting MLB these days much closer to their peak abilities. Correa looks like a Hall of Fame talent if he stays healthy, but I hate the hype that now surrounds stud rookies before they’ve even played one full season.

Matt
Guest
Matt
9 months 16 days ago

I’m pretty much of the mind that a player needs AT LEAST 3 years in the majors before he can be labeled the best at anything.

Radermecher
Member
Radermecher
9 months 16 days ago

Correa is the greatest of all time
Bryant is the greatest of all time
Three months are all you need baby.

Colby
Guest
Colby
9 months 15 days ago

Other shortstops may hit better but as far as shortstops doing shortstop things… I’ll just leave this here. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=stx_4PZrFqw

Troy Tulowitzki
Guest
Troy Tulowitzki
9 months 15 days ago

Nope.

Blinzler
Guest
Blinzler
9 months 14 days ago

What did you take so long!?

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