Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Astros blow it with Correa


That's 19-year old and 2012 1-1 pick Carlos Correa's slash line in the California League, where he was recently named to the Cal League All-Star Team. Correa is 7th in the league in runs scored (44), 9th in hits (75), tied for 3rd in triples (5), 4th in RBI (52), 15th in Total Bases (115), 11th in walks (32), 4th in stolen bases (20), 5th in batting average (.332), 3rd in OBP (.421), and 9th in OPS (.930). He's just a shade under four years younger than the average Cal League hitter - in 266 Plate Appearances, only four PAs have come against younger pitchers.

In April, Correa hit .300/.366/.463. In May he hit .330/.389/.496. In nine June games he's hitting .419/.617/.677. After missing about a week with a sore shoulder in late April/early May, Correa is hitting .349/.451/.534.

Maybe you look at his splits and think "yeah but those LHP splits" and you would notice something - mainly that Correa is hitting .389/.475/.593 against RHP and .169/.258/.271 against LHP. Alarming, right? But don't worry! Correa hit .283/.365/.440 against RHP and .432/.523/.550 against LHP at Quad Cities last year - so let's just keep in mind that his 2014 LHP splits are wrapped up in 66 plate appearances and move on.

Here's the point: For the first time during the regular season, the Corpus Christi Hooks are playing a game tonight at Minute Maid Park against the San Antonio Missions that is billed as the "Astros Futures Game." Yet the shortstop of the future is in Lancaster, tearing up the league.

Nolan Fontana is hitting .273/.432/.397 at Corpus, and OKC has Ronny Torreyes (.728 OPS) and Gregorio Petit (.729 OPS) getting time at short, as well. So there's not exactly a domino effect here, although you can't tell me with a straight face that any of those guys - or Jonathan Villar, for that matter - are keeping Correa from advancing through the system. Also, Fontana and Torreyes have played more 2B than SS for Corpus and OKC, respectively.

The JetHawks were off today, after playing a day game at Visalia yesterday. That provided plenty of time to get Correa to Houston to play in front of Astros fans in a "Futures Game" and into a league that, you know, might offer a challenge - because it's not happening in Lancaster. It's been an exciting few weeks for Astros fans, what with all the winning, and all - but this was a giant opportunity for the Astros to show off Correa to Houston, and they whiffed.