The Houston Astros turned more than a few heads when they selected shortstop Carlos Correa as the first overall pick of the 2012 draft. Though the pick was largely viewed at the time as a signability selection (pitcher Mark Appel was widely considered the best available player but had made it known he wouldn’t play in Houston), Correa turned heads of his own in the second half of the season last year.
Correa, who was just 17 at the time, signed quickly and gathered better than 200 plate appearances in a pair of Rookie League stops for the Astros in 2012 and scouts saw enough in his to rank him fairly high on the 2013 prospect lists (we had him at number 39, MLB.com at #30, and Baseball America rated him number 13). Beginning this season at Class-A Quad Cities, Correa got off to a slow start at the dish, but broke out in a big way on Sunday.
Correa, who came into the game at Wisconsin with a total of four professional home runs, connected for the second of the season in the top of the first inning, igniting a 12-run effort by the River Bandits. After adding a single later in the game, Correa went deep again in the eighth, this time with a man aboard, to finish the day 3-for-4 and give him a total of 13 RBI in just 11 games played.
Correa had shown good patience at the plate on the early campaign, but hadn’t shown much in the way of power, slugging just .359 through his first 48 plate appearances. While he does strikeout often (14 times so far this year and 44 times in 50 games a season ago), Correa has added nine walks to his line, giving his a respectable on base percentage despite coming into the game with a batting average of just .205. That average jumped up by 50 points with his three-hit effort on Sunday.
Correa is extremely young and he’s a long ways away from reaching his potential. So much so that it’s actually fairly difficult to ascertain exactly what his ceiling might be. At already 6’4″ and 190 lbs, it’s safe to assume that Correa will fill out considerably as he matures and with that will come some increased pop. If he can do that and maintain athleticism, he could develop into a legitimate five-tool player down the road.