Other then maybe his mother, nobody loved Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa more than the 2016 fantasy baseball community. After all there was not a single player in the entire game that was more sought after at the draft given the massive combination of five-tool ability, qualifying at the very shallow shortstop spot, and for the insane amount of upside that still remained. Despite not even playing a full season the year prior in his 2015 debut, Correa sailed into the first round of drafts last spring given his incredible debut performance. This is what happens when you’re a former number 1 overall draft pick (2012) and then come up to the majors to hit .297 with 22 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 432 at-bats as Correa did in 2015. While no one would even possibly try to knock Correa’s ridiculous talents, the fact of the matter was that his 2016 production did not justify the first round price tag. In 228 more at-bats, Correa actually hit FEWER total home runs with 20 and his 13 steals were a major letdown given the additional chances to pad that number. Correa’s .274 batting average was also quite disappointing and in fact that number would have been worse if Correa hadn’t gotten some luck with his .328 BABIP. Yes the overall production of Correa was lacking last season but only in terms of where he was picked. When you really look at the big picture, Correa was still quite good and you must keep in mind he turned just 22 this past September. That is an incredibly young age for a hitter to be playing in the majors and so any sort of “sophomore slump” Correa went through last season should not be a total surprise. Digging into the advanced numbers a bit more, Correa shows nothing but optimism as he drew walks at a very high 11.4 BB/9 clip last season and his 21.1 K/9 rate is also very impressive for a youngster. Thus is stands to reason that the best is still to come for Correa and the fact he should slip into the second round of drafts this spring makes him even more appealing. There is no doubt in our minds that Correa is one of the brightest and most talented offensive players in the game and his status as a potential five-tool monster is still very much written in stone.
2017 PROJECTION: .281 25 HR 100 RBI 95 R 16 SB