Carlos Correa (HOU): 3-3, 2 R, BB.
They say April showers bring May flowers, but that has not been the case for Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa. Through the first nine games of May, Correa was in an abysmal slump, picking up just two hits in a 35 at-bat span. He hopes that last night’s performance will help him turn it around. Correa was 3-3, 2 R, BB in Houston’s 9-1 blowout win over Los Angeles.
After Correa nearly carried Houston to another World Series appearance last season, fans were excited about his prospects for 2021. Corea started the season strong, but is now batting a mere .239 and has an OBP under .300. As of April 30, he was batting .303, so the dropoff has been dramatic. That said, his underlying numbers say it is not time to panic.
Correa’s xBA is .302, fitting in the ninth percentile of the league. Perhaps the most interesting thing about viewing Correa’s baseball savant profile is seeing how many of his stats in 2017 were clear outliers compared to his career averages. His xSLG in 2017 was .548, only one other time in his career did he hold one over .500. In 2017, Correa’s xwOBA of .396 stands as his career-high, with his next closest total coming at .380 in 2019. Some encouraging signs for Correa are that his xBA is the highest it has been since the 2017 season and his average exit velocity of 90.8 mph is in the league’s 75th percentile, also the highest it has been since 2017.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday
Starlin Castro (WSH): 4-5, R, RBI.
Castro was the only National with multiple hits in their extra-inning loss to the Phillies. Castro had four hits in the effort, all of them singles. The 31-year-old second infielder extended his hitting streak to 10 games last night, batting 15/37 over that stretch. Castro is still not fantasy-relevant, but it is nice to see the veteran put together a stretch of strong performances.
Teoscar Hernández (TOR): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.
Hernandez went deep twice last night, and both home runs came in clutch situations. His seventh-inning solo blast gave the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead and his two-run blast in the ninth stretched that lead to 4-1. Hernandez has not fully come around yet but seems to be heating up with three long balls in his last five games.
Max Muncy (LAD): 2-3, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.
The league leader in walks added two more to his resume last night. As I mentioned in last week’s column, Muncy has the best plate discipline in the majors as he has now walked seven more times than his closest competitor. Last night he gave the Dodgers some insurance with his fifth-inning home run, his fourth in his last seven games.
Billy Hamilton (CWS): 4-4, 2B, 3B, 3 R, RBI, SB.
The White Sox speedster was the talk of the town on baseball twitter last night. Hamilton was perfect at the plate, falling just a long ball short of the cycle. The play of the game came in the first inning when Hamilton showcased his mind-melting speed when he scored on a wild pitch by breaking down the third-base line after a brief hesitation.
Victor Caratini (SD): 1-2, 1 HR, R, 4 RBI, 1 BB.
Caratini’s sixth-inning grand slam was the big blow in the Padres 5-3 win in their seven-inning against the Rockies. Caratini is not known for his offensive prowess but has been productive of late with nine hits in his last ten games. He has two home runs and 6 RBI during that stretch. Caratini was expected to split time with Austin Nola to start the season, but he has ended up carving out a role as the Padres primary catcher.
Dominic Smith (NYM): 3-4, 1 2B, R, 2 RBI.
Smith led the Mets offense in its six-run win over Baltimore. Smith had three base hits, including a double, and drove in two runs in the effort. Smith is hitting just .250 on the season but his .287 xBA indicates he has been the victim of a bit of bad luck so far this season. However, his luck has been turning around recently. Smith is 8-22 with 5 RBI in his past seven appearances.
Joc Pederson (CHC): 3-5, 2B, RBI.
Pederson was responsible for the entirety of the Chicago offense last night with his fifth-inning double. Pederson is scorching hot of late. The centerfielder is hitting a touch below .500 over his last six games, going 12-25 at the plate during the stretch. He got off to a slow start but is appearing to get some good karma as of late. However, if Pederson wants to produce sustainable offense he needs to cut down on his 35% chase rate, which is in the league’s ninth percentile
Trevor Story (COL): 2-3, R, RBI, BB, SB.
One of Major League Baseball’s top trade targets showed potential suitors what he has to offer in game one of Colorado’s doubleheader. Story reached base three times with two hits and a walk and added a stolen base for good measure. Story’s numbers are slightly down this season but his .333 BABIP tells a different story (no pun intended). Whichever team ends up with him after the deadline will be getting a steal.
Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)