Can Carlos Correa Live Up to His Fantasy Baseball Expectation in 2017?
What should we expect from Carlos Correa in 2017? A lot of awesomeness.
What, you wanted more? OK, then. Here's more.
Correa is quite simply one of the most talented shortstops in the game and will undoubtedly be one of the first 25 or so players selected in every season-long fantasy draft this spring. I mean, just look at this kid.
In his first full season last year, Correa batted .274/.361/.451, slugging 20 homers with 96 RBI's and 13 stolen bases in 660 plate appearances. Here is where he ranked among qualified MLB shortstops last season.
Some of those numbers were down a bit from the 99 games he played in his rookie season in 2015. His wOBA fell from .365 to .349, his wRC+ dropped from 135 to 122 and his isolated power (ISO) went from .233 to .177. However, those "drops" still leave him with pretty great numbers, and one area Correa improved on was his walk rate -- up to 11.4% in 2016 after it was 9.3% in 2015.
Correa's splits from last year show almost no red flags whatsoever.
His first-half wRC+ (122) was virtually the same as his second-half number (120). His wOBA -- .350 in the first half and .347 in the second -- was almost identical, too. And he really only had one subpar month, which came in September, when he hit put up his only single-month wRC+ under 100 on the season (84).
Correa had no trouble against right-handed pitching last year, in fact, he put up reverse splits. His OPS against righties (.839) was better than his clip against southpaws (.730), and he had a higher isolated power against right-handers than lefties, as well.
His plate discipline improved a bit from his rookie season, with Correa swinging at fewer pitches outside of the strike zone (29.4%) than his rookie year (31.5%), but he did have a little more swing-and-miss in 2016 -- 10.3% compared to 8.4% in 2015. Correa's average exit velocity, courtesy of Baseball Savant, was at 95.1 miles per hour (MPH) last season, up a bit from his 94.6 MPH average from 2015.
The point is this: Correa has no real weaknesses and suffered no substantial dropoff in his game, despite a few numbers being a little lower from 2015 to 2016.
Steamer's 2017 projection has prognosticated a pretty nice little season for Correa. Steamer has him with a slash line of .278/.359/.470 with 22 homers, 83 runs, 86 RBI's and 14 stolen bases. They see him putting up a wOBA of .354 and a wRC+ of 125, totaling an fWAR of 4.8. That's a useful engine, right?
Oh, and he's only 22 years old, meaning there's still room for him to get better.
So, I'll circle back to what I said at the beginning of this piece. What should we expect from Carlos Correa in 2017?
A lot of awesomeness, that's what.