Who goes first? The case for: Carlos Correa

Correa, Carlos

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Over the next ten days, I’ll take a look at the five players — going in reverse order — that I believe have some sort of chance to be the first player selected by the Houston Astros. First up on our list is Carlos Correa, a shortstop out of Puerto Rico that has been rising up draft boards since February, and now has a chance — albeit remote — to end up in Houston come June.

Let’s take a look at why — and why not — Correa should be a target for the first pick overall.

The case for — Correa’s talent is unquestionable. He’s an athletic shortstop with smooth actions who can make plays all over the field with above-average arm strength. As he gets bigger, he may have to switch to third-base, but you give him every chance to be play there, and there’s a 45 percent chance he will stick.

And even if he does have to make the switch to the hot corner, the bat should profile there just fine. Correa has plus bat speed and generates good power that should develop into plus as he gets stronger. He hits the ball with authority to all fields, and his offensive ceiling is a .300 hitter capable of hitting 20-25 homers with above-average speed.

The case against — While Correa is a top-notch talent, there are some issues that could give teams question marks. While the right-handed hitting infielder shows loads of potential, he — like most high-school players — is a few years away from contributing to a big league club. While that’s not necessarily a huge problem, it is tough to spend the kind of money a No.1 pick costs on a player who needs two-three seasons on the farm. And of course, over that time, there are a plethora of things that can go wrong with attrition and development and the like, you’ve all heard the story before. And while the bat profiles as above-average at third, he’s not a star unless he can stick at shortstop.

The Verdict: There’s no question in my mind that Correa is the best middle-infield prospect in the draft — I might take him offensively over Deven Marrero right now — and in a draft that doesn’t offer a ton of upside, he would rank in the top three even as a third-baseman. But because of the lack of immediate production and the non guarantee that he will make an impact at a premium position, Correa is a long shot to go No.1 — but don’t dismiss him just yet.

The Chance: 8 percent

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2 Responses to “Who goes first? The case for: Carlos Correa”

  1. [...] At MLB Draft Insider, Chris Crawford makes the case for, and against, Carlos Correa going number one in the 2012 MLB Draft.  -LINK [...]

  2. maqman says:

    I would love to see him go first as it would improve the M’s choices with the third pick.

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