Let's take a look at 10 of the most important attributes that should help to indicate what a prospect’s future might hold. Players are ranked on a scale of 1-10 by their qualities for each aspect, accumulating in a final prospect grade. Grades are based on what prospects can bring to the table from the current position they are projected to play in the major leagues.
Without further ado, let’s find out if Carlos Correa makes the grade…
1) Baseball IQ – After graduating from high-school with a 4.0 GPA, the Houston Astros were inclined to take Correa based on his enormous potential, but the 17 year-old shortstop’s physical presence and maturity went a long way in making him the top overall pick as well. Rating: 10 out of 10.
2) Batting-Eye – During the 2013 season, Correa struck out 83 times while drawing 58 free passes. So far this season, the prospect has improved upon those rates even further. It is easy to see why Correa projects to hit for a high batting average in the future. Rating: 10 out of 10.
3) Hit-Tool – After hitting for a .320 batting average during the 2013 season, Correa is off to a hot start once again, with an average above .300 here in the early going. The potential for a high batting average along with 25-30 HR’s makes any prospect very valuable. Stick that prospect at shortstop, and those numbers make them an elite prospect. Rating: 10 out of 10.
4) Power – With 70 extra-base hits in his first 186 minor league games, the lofty homerun totals should come soon. The prospect still has a ways to go in this department as far as development is concerned, but scouts believe the power potential here could play very well down the road from the shortstop position. Rating: 10 out of 10.
5) Speed – We aren’t looking at Billy Hamilton speed here, but Correa has the ability to swipe anywhere from 15-to-30 bags a year during the early part of his career. If the shortstop ends up on the higher end of that projection, there’s no reason Correa might not become a future 1st round fantasy option. Rating: 9 out of 10.
6) Body – The shortstop still won’t turn 20 years-old until the end of the 2014 baseball season, but standing at an athletic 6’4" and 205 pounds, Correa reminds some scouts of a young prospect that was a physical specimen about 20 years ago named Alex Rodriguez. Correa’s size could eventually lead to a move off the position and to third base. Rating: 10 out of 10.
7) Durability – Baseball Prospectus compares Correa to a healthier version of Troy Tulowitski here. The prospect is still very young, but there are no injury concerns to worry about thus far. He should be capable of handling the everyday rigors of big league life with ease. Rating: 10 out of 10.
8) Ceiling – MLB.com columnist Jim Callis compares shortstop prospects in Carlos Correa and Addison Russell here, and says he believes that Correa possesses the highest potential of the two. The question is, will the young star maximize that potential? Rating: 10 out of 10.
9) Floor – As with any young 19 year-old prospect, there is still going to be some hurdles to cross before making it to the big leagues. But that time could come sooner rather than later if the young cornerstone forces the organizations’ hand with his play on the field. Even with a wide range of possible outcomes, there aren’t many who think this prospect won’t be special. Rating: 8 out of 10.
10) Future – Even though Correa has been unfairly compared to Byron Buxton because of their selection order during the 2012 MLB draft, management knew what they were doing by taking the shortstop. By selecting the young phenom, ownership is hopeful that Carlos Correa will be turning double-plays with Jose Altuve when the ballclub takes home their 1st World Series ring in the near future. Rating: 10 out of 10.
Overall Grade: 97% - A
Future Outlook: There is no easier way to say it, Carlos Correa is one of the very best prospects in all of baseball. In a system loaded with talent, this shortstop prospect leads the way with the highest ceiling. With the first wave of elite prospects ready to make their way to Houston, led by George Springer, the Astros hope Correa will be ready to join them soon, maybe even by the end of this year. A better ETA for the shortstop would having him making his major league debut sometime during the 2015 season. The Puerto Rico native has the potential to be the #1 ranked fantasy shortstop within 3 years. With a large range of potential outcomes, the risk factor here is greater than you usually see with older, top prospects. But that doesn’t mean Correa won’t soon become a perennial top fantasy selection. If you play in a keeper or dynasty league and Correa isn’t yet owned, stop reading this and go pick him up now. If he is owned, be willing to go the extra mile to acquire this potential 1st round fantasy option.