The Z REPORT

Lance Zierlein: Will Carlos Correa ever become a superstar?

Carlos Correa has not quite become a superstar yet. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The baseball season lasts a long, long time. It’s not one big season, but rather, many smaller seasons with different narratives develop during those many seasons. Early in the season there were questions about what was wrong with the Astros offense. Then the narrative turned to the bullpen issues or non-issues depending on your vantage point. There was a time that we were talking about the Astros rotation being one of the most dominant in MLB history, but that has cooled off a little.  

We focus and then re-focus on a variety of topics because the baseball season lasts forever and we need different things to yap about to make it more interesting during the grind of summer. One of the most fluid topics you can debate with someone is what the Astros rotation would be in the playoffs “if the season ended today.” We have all done it. We have all argued about who the top four starters would be and what the bullpen set-up would look like.

We are now at that stage of the season before the trade deadline where all of the talk is about to revolve around which arms to target off of other rosters to become the next closer for the Astros. I’ve got Brad Hand from the Padres, but that’s not what I’m writing about today. I’m writing about Carlos Correa.

The best of the Astros

Jose Altuve is the Astros G.O.A.T and that isn’t up for debate. I’m not doing the Biggio vs. Altuve thing either. Not here and not now. In his relatively short Astros career, Alex Bregman has made a strong case for being the second best position player on this roster. We all know that Bregman’s legend as a clutch player continues to grow, but the first-time All-Star is also becoming very consistent. Take a look at his numbers over his last 162 games:

Games

Runs

Hits

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BA

OB%

SLG%

OPS

162

109

184

47

5

30

103

.297

.378

.535

.913

OK, Alex Bregman is good. REALLY GOOD. But this isn’t what my article is about or I would just drop the mic after that table I just put on you. And are you even arguing against Bregman being the second best position player on this team? George Springer is a good player who can carry you when he gets hot, but I don’t know that he’s THAT guy for an entire season. Which brings us to Carlos Correa.

Expectations for Correa

I brought up Carlos Correa on the radio and the fact that he hasn’t been able to ride a long-term hot streak this season and that I was a little surprised that Correa hasn’t made the move into superstar territory just yet. All of a sudden, the discussion turned to whether or not our expectations for Correa are too high.

I say no. Carlos Correa has superstar ability and a superstar future. I’m right, right? I mean, he looks the part….he’s got to be a future MVP candidate and best shortstop in the game, right?

Maybe not. For the record, I’m sticking with my assumptions that I’m right. He is a big guy with a sweet swing and the ability to drive the ball with power and his .941 OPS gave us some insight into what he’s capable of. Defensively, Correa is rangy with a cannon for a right arm. But are my expectations too high for him? Are yours? I’ve just always assumed he would become a 35-40 homer hitter and approach the 1.000 OPS mark.

I love Carlos Correa and that won’t change if he doesn’t become the MVP-caliber superstar that I’ve always expected him to be. But I’m going on record that my expectations aren’t changing for him. I still expect Carlos Correa to become the next, great shortstop and you should too.

 

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Here's why the Texans will make the playoffs under Lovie Smith

1. The Houston Texans had a mentally tough practice Saturday. The team has worked a lot in pads and Lovie Smith noted the days starting to build up on them during this practice. The head coach said this is a good practice because it is like the fourth quarter of the games the team will end up playing.

2. Davis Mills threw one of the best passes he has thrown all camp on Saturday. In a red zone drill, he dropped back and whipped a pass between two defenders into the tightest window he has had all camp. Nico Collins hauled in the threaded pass for a score.

3. A few reps later Davis Mills struck again. With traffic from linebackers and defensive backs, he found Chris Conley for a score. It wasn’t as tight of a window as the first one, but Mills snapped it off nonetheless.

4. Pharaoh Brown made something hard look very easy on Saturday. With Mills rolling out and tossing the ball to Brown in the back corner Brown hauled in a one-handed catch and had both feet down. Touchdown. Brown then acted like it was no big deal.

5. Pharaoh Brown has had a wonderful camp. Lovie Smith named him the starting tight end. The thing that really jumped out to me today is he makes his work look easy. He isn’t straining to excel in his opportunities. The good ones always make it look easy and it has looked easy for Brown so far.

6. Rookie linebacker Christian Harris is on the shelf for a few days. He joins fellow rookie Kenyon Green as players who are injured. Max Scharping played left guard with Green down. Wide receiver Phillip Dorset practiced while veteran wideout Chester Rodgers did not.

7. Roy Lopez flashed again today. While Friday was about the rushing attack and Lopez made his presence felt at defensive tackle, he got into the pass rush Saturday. Lopez would have had a bone-crushing sack in a live rep.

8. Ross Blacklock hasn’t been consistent. A statement like that is good and evil. There are some plays where Blacklock looks like he isn’t a factor. I watched one today. A play later he had what would have been a sack on the play. He’s a player to watch in the preseason games closely.

9. Don’t expect to see Derek Stingley in the preseason opener next Saturday. Lovie Smith wouldn’t commit to the rookie cornerback playing in the preseason. Smith did say Stingley is on track to play week one in the regular season.

10. Brevin Jordan has had a nice camp and should be an important piece for the team. Jordan had a bad drop in 7-on-7 drills that he was beating himself up over for a few minutes. That was out of the norm. He’s been used a lot and will be on the field a bit it seems for the Texans.

11. Brevin Jordan also rattled off a few contenders for the quote of the day. He exclaimed he had taken care of himself this offseason and he finally had abs. He also revealed he’s quite the fisherman and once caught a 125-pound tuna. When asked what he did with the tuna Jordan laughed and said “RIP tuna!”

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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