A scholarship student at the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy and High School, Correa became the highest selected player from a Puerto Rican High School when the Astros chose him No. 1 overall in the 2012 Draft.
After having played 282 games in the Astros' Minor League system, at the age of 20 Correa has been promoted to the big league club. He's showing the world his game-changing talents as the team's starting shortstop.
A fractured fibula in 2014 cost him development time. However, he is healthy once again and is punishing pitchers as he had done prior to his injury.
My first looks at Correa came in Spring Training 2013. Correa played in four games. I was fortunate to scout two of them. What I saw made me sit up in my seat and take notice. Correa was different. He punished the ball. He couldn't be fooled.
Only 18 years old at the time, Correa had a presence in the batter's box that defied his age. His eye-hand coordination and the quickness of his wrists and hands through the ball were among the best I had seen. His balance at the plate and his ability to drive the ball were basics of his offensive approach.
His teenage approach in that Spring Training experience has not changed. Making consistently solid and loud contact with a measured swing, Correa has power to all fields. He could become a 30-home-run hitter for the Astros. As his .313 Minor League batting average in 1,262 plate appearances attests, Correa can flat out hit.
At first glance, Correa's physical presence as a 6-foot-4, 210-pound shortstop is striking. His range, the way he moves, his quick first step and his arm strength are well above average. I have seen him glide to the ball, plant his feet and throw a bullet to first base as well as most All-Star shortstops. He has soft hands and quick feet -- a fantastic combination for a defender, especially one as tall as Correa.
Take your pick. Correa can hit for average, hit for power, play stellar defense, and deploy a rocket arm with accuracy. Each of those tools is All-Star quality, with his arm strength earning a scouting grade of 70 in my opinion. Correa's skill set is electric and game-changing. He is an elite player.
Always younger and more advanced than his competition, Correa has baseball instincts and abilities that come naturally. His tremendous athletic ability results in smooth, seemingly effortless movements. His desire and passion are evident in his no-nonsense demeanor. His current strength and power are merely hints at what we may expect in the future.
If I had to nitpick, one might say his speed is not world class or even above-average. That's true. However, Correa has such good baseball instincts he will find spots to steal bases. He will surprise with a solid stolen base count in the years to come.
I FIND THIS INTERESTING
Since the age of five, Correa was an outstanding baseball player in Puerto Rico. He began by playing first base, pitching and playing shortstop. People still speak of his "incredible arm" and his ability to hit home runs as a child for his "Pampers League" teams, as they are known in Puerto Rico.
Perennial All-Star Games are in Correa's future. He may outgrow shortstop, and if that happens, he is more than capable of playing third base.
Correa may not have reached is physical peak in terms of strength. He projects to be a very dependable source of power
CORREA IN A WORD