The Astros called up top prospect Carlos Correa back on June 7th, and since then he has out-performed even the wildest projections given to him by fantasy writers. Prior to his call up, Correa tore up AA pitching this season, hitting .385-.459-.726 with 7 home runs, 25 runs scored, 32 RBI and 15 stolen bases in just 133 plate appearances. He was promoted to AAA back on May 11th and was hitting .266-.336-.447 with 3 home runs, 18 runs scored, 11 RBI and 3 stolen bases in just over 100 plate appearances.
Here is what I wrote about him upon his call up:
The next question is, how will Correa perform upon his call up? I think he could be one of the top 7-8 fantasy shortstops the rest of the way, adding power and some speed to a position that has thinned out this year, due to down seasons from Starlin Castro, Troy Tulowitzki, Ian Desmond and others.
Yeah, i didn't offer much projection there, did I? I did say he would be one of the top 7-8 fantasy shortstops for the rest of the season, but that is beginning to look like a very conservative projection as he has been the #1 fantasy shortstop since his call up.
Since his call up, Correa is hitting .304-.333-.571 with 7 home runs, 18 runs scored, 19 RBI and 5 stolen bases in 117 plate appearances, with a wRC+ of 152, good for 24th best in baseball. Over the same time period, his 1.5 fWAR ranks him as the 7th best player in the game as well, behind the likes of the following:
J.D. Martinez, Tigers
Manny Machado, Orioles
Mookle Betts, Red Sox
Mike Trout, Angels
Lorenzo Cain, Royals
Bryce Harper, Nationals
So, he is in some pretty nice company with four of the best young players in the game ahead of him over the last 30 days. And here is how he ranks in various statistical categories amongst his shortstop brethren over the last 30 days:
Runs: tied for 1st
You see the trend, right? I know the sample size is small, but he is showing us that he is the real deal, and an emerging star in the game. Like many other rookies, he will go through the regular ups and downs at the plate, going into slumps here and there, but that is part of the maturation process that all young hitters go through. How quickly he makes adjustments once pitchers find his weaknesses will give us a glimpse into how soon he will become a star.
ZiPS projects him to hit just 4 more home runs and steal 5 bases the rest of the way, while Steamer projects him to hit 8 home runs and steal 9 bases. I think they might be too conservative. I asked readers in a recent Roto Roundup if Correa could put up a 20 home run 20 stolen base season this year. With about three months left in the season, Correa could hit 20 home runs, but may be hard-pressed to steal 20 bases. He will need to average 4 home runs and 5 stolen bases per month the rest of the season to reach the 20-20 club in his rookie season.
Is it possible? Sure.
Looking ahead to 2016, I know…..it's early. But is it too early to rank Correa as the top fantasy shortstop in 2016 drafts? With the current shortstop crop disappointing many fantasy owners, how Correa hits over the next three months could solidify him as the #1 fantasy shortstop in 2016….and for many years to come.