Carlos Corrected: How Carlos Correa Has Gotten Back on Track

Carlos Correa is back and with a vengeance in 2024

There are many reasons why Carlos Correa would go so under the radar that he couldn’t even see the radar this season. The Minnesota Twins shortstop, even at his best, has never been that fantasy difference-maker, but it hasn’t stopped him from producing incredibly productive years since coming up with the Astros. That however was not the case in 2023.

Correa produced the worst numbers of his career across the board, and it led to a level of skepticism seldom seen for a player with his resume. If you drafted or traded for Correa anywhere in the offseason, it was virtually at very little cost, almost regardless of format.

In a broader sense, shortstop isn’t what it was back in the day, it’s so much better. You have legitimate MVP offensive production out of the position with the likes of Bobby Witt Jr. and Gunnar Henderson, not to mention the nonsensical fantasy value of Elly De La Cruz.

Taking all of those things into consideration, one can reasonably understand why Correa might be overlooked.

Before addressing what he’s doing this season, it’s important to remember that for much of 2023, he dealt with plantar fasciitis and went on record saying it was probably the toughest injury he’s ever had to play with. To be fair, Correa wasn’t hitting particularly well even before he was diagnosed with that issue, but it’s also a relevant matter.

Interestingly enough, Correa has gone through most of his career with the injury-prone label, and while at a certain point, it sort of applied, it doesn’t match up with the recent seasons. Since the start of 2020, Correa has played above 80% of his team’s games in each campaign. A portion of that may be Correa becoming more durable, but on the flip side, he also might’ve been playing through more issues, setting himself up for free agency or trying to justify the contract he received.

Now, even at his best, part of why Correa doesn’t draw so much attention in fantasy circles is because he has certain limits. The former Astro won’t blow you away in any category. He hits for power, but not difference-making power, his average is consistently solid, but also unlikely to wow anyone, often hovering around .270-.280. And last but not least, he doesn’t run at all.

Put each of those things together, and you get the adage of the professional hitter going. Correa has to be a good compiler with his particular set of skills. And even then, he might find himself in a great season, potentially without the recognition he deserves.

The improvements for Correa in 2024 have been drastic, and he is leading the Royce Lewis-less Twins into a fight for the playoffs and a Top-3 offense in the American League.

Correa is one of only 10 qualified hitters with an average above .300 and one of six in that group who’s slugging over .500.

Some of his numbers are likely to regress, but there’s a very decent chance Correa finishes the year with 20-ish homers, good marks in runs and RBI, and playing in a potent offense (yes!). Even likely regressions in batting average (.303) will still leave him with a fine mark.

Before addressing how he has gotten to this point, there are some aspects to talk about when judging a player’s evolution or decline. And this becomes apparent in this particular case.

With so much information out there, we often look for that one thing that drives a change, the adjustment that flips the script. Oftentimes, that’s pretty clear, but there are cases in which the situation is much more nuanced.

Across the board, Correa is showing an improvement in swing decisions, strike-zone judgment, contact ability, and power.

Coming back to the fact that he played injured for the bulk of 2023, with hitting everything is connected, and if something is off, that may lead to pressing here, overcompensating there, and all sorts of issues

Furthermore, not talking as much about what Correa changed from one year to another, it’s important to take a step back and determine why a bounce back was a very reasonable expectation. And perhaps it made more sense to go after him than most realized.

For as long as Correa has been around, the shortstop is not even 30 yet and is effectively in his prime. You could make an argument for a declining skill set, but Correa had just put up two of his better campaigns in the prior seasons. Between 2021 and 2022, the former number-one overall pick had an .842 OPS in 1230 PA. To give you some context, Francisco Lindor who has been great with the Mets, hasn’t put up a single season OPS mark above that since moving his service to Queens.

As much as the Minnesota Twins shortstop gave reasons for concern, if we’re talking about a hitter with a long track record of success, coming off a down year, he might have dropped a bit further than justified. Correa was drafted as the 26th shortstop off the board, according to ADP in NFBC.

Looking at his spot on the Hitter List, ranked as the 88th hitter in Tier 10, there is a lot of expectation about some possible regression there. However, have Luis Arraez or Ezequiel Tovar really put up better years than Correa? Probably not. Yet, those guys occupy higher tiers.

It’s easier for Arraez’s one skill to stand out, and I wouldn’t expect Correa to go toe-to-toe with him on average. However, the gap may not end up big enough that it makes up for Correa’s better contributions in other categories.

We analyze the data and look for potential breakouts, but it’s important to keep your mind open to the possibility of bouncebacks as well. It wasn’t the first time Correa had that kind of down year, but not only had he previously found his way from them, but he’s young enough that this expectation wasn’t far-fetched. Particularly if he was healthy as he’s proven to be.


Photos by Icon Sports Wire and Adobe Stock | Adapted by Carlos Leano

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