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Friday, May 3, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: CARLOS CORREA SS HOUSTON ASTROS

How quickly a narrative can change when examing a prime fantasy baseball player is a theme that certainly is deserving of Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.  While he is still just 24, it seems like A.) Correa has been around for ever and B.) the guy has gone from being a stud five-tool monster we all wanted to persona non grata in the fantasy baseball universe.  Of course, we all remember the exciting days when Correa first came up in 2015 after being picked number 1 overall in 2012 and then seemingly turned into a star overnight as he hit 22 home runs, stole 14 bases, and batted .274.  This was followed by 20 homers, 13 steals, and a .274 average the following year and Correa was off and running as a first-round pick with pretty much unlimited potential in the eyes of many. 

As so often happens in situations like this, the fairytale story got interrupted and in Correa's case, it was serious injuries that kept him under 500 at-bats both in 2017 and 2018 and maybe also contributed to his statistical profile changing for the worse.  On the latter front, we first saw Correa showing no interest in stealing bases anymore beginning in 2017 as he swiped just 2 bags and then he followed that up with 3 last season.  Now we have heard of countless players erode sharply in steals as they move towards 30 but this is a guy who is still to this day not even 25.  In addition, Correa went into a massive slump in 2018 when he batted just .239 and smacked 15 homers in 468 at-bats.  In other words, borderline waiver wire numbers from a guy who was a second round pick at worst.  So it was these themes that followed Correa into drafts this past March and he was someone I identified as a player I would watch closely to see if he could get his career back on track as a high end guy.

Well if the first month is any indication, we have generally gotten positive developments from Correa almost across the board.  For one thing, he has stayed healthy and been nearly an everyday guy.  Secondly, Correa is already up to 6 home runs on the season which has him on pace for 30-plus.  Also, Correa's .296 batting average has been terrific and his 8.3 BB/9 has been solid. 

Now on the negative side, Correa is still not showing much interest in running with a single stolen base and we may have to now accept the fact those numbers may never be coming back.  In addition, Correa's 26.7 K/9 is quite ugly and could lead to average trouble down the line if he doesn't correct this soon.  Be that as it may though, Correa has been more good than bad and seems ready to reclaim second round status.  Of course the season is still early but so far Correa is supplying very good value for those who kept the faith in the kid. 


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