Is Carlos Correa the best shortstop in the American League? That’s a question many baseball fans have been pondering for the last few weeks. And while there is no definitive answer, there is certainly a case to be made.
Correa wasn’t considered the top prospect in baseball for nothing. He brings a unique skill set to a successful AL-best 49-win Houston Astros team. So far, he has shown a true five-tool skill set, and has been one of the Astros’ best hitters, in contributing a .304 batting average and seven home runs.
His five stolen bases also indicate that he possess some speed, and a .970 fielding percentage shows he can be a premier defensive option. Currently, Correa doesn’t have the necessary amount of plate appearances to be considered for statistical leads.
But regardless of eligibility, Correa’s current numbers place him second amongst American League shortstops in batting average, trailing only Detroit’s, Jose Iglesias. Correa does have a leg up on Iglesias and his fellow A.L. shortstops, owning a substantial lead in slugging percentage.
He maintains a .593 mark in that category, leading Boston’s, Xander Bogaerts, by almost two whole points. However, that number isn’t going to be the standard, as a .593 is high, even for the most polished MLB hitters. But, Corrrea still profiles as a much more prolific power hitter than any other shortstop in the American League.
Expect him to average around .535, which is on par with the average for National League shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki. While Correa has had a hot start to his MLB career, some will make the argument that he hasn’t proven himself in the majors, as he has played only 25 games.
Correa has yet to record 150 at-bats, and the book on him is still being written by opposing pitchers. Only Roenis Elias and Mark Lowe have seen Correa more for more than three at-bats, and he hasn’t recorded a hit on either.
The hype surrounding Correa has been growing since his professional debut in 2012. He is a phenomenal young player, and will only get better with time. There will be growing pains, but that’s all part of the process.