Carlos Javier Correa, Jr. was drafted first overall in the 2012 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros straight out of Puerto Rico. The young shortstop gem was only 17 at time he was drafted, and, despite being the youngest high profile player in the draft, was ranked by several major publications as a Top-Ten pick. Baseball America has him rated as the #13 overall prospect and MLB.com has him #28 overall in its 2013 rankings. Baseballprospectus has him #26 overall.
With Correa, the name of his game is tools because he has all of them. Correa has at least above-average defense tools, excellent athleticism/hands, and a plus arm – almost guaranteed to stick at SS when he finally hits the big leagues. Most scouts believe that his defense is ahead of his offense; however, he still has above-average speed and has a real chance of displaying above-average power at a premium position as he progresses. The only real question appears to be his BA.
Through 2012, playing in two rookie leagues, Correa hit only .258 with 3 HR’s, 28 runs, and 12 RBI’s in 190 AB’s…and so far through 214 AB’s in 2012, he’s hitting .304 with 4 HR’s, 41 runs, and 44 RBI’s. The spike in his BA year over year is really impressive – not to mention his OPS rising from .705 to .830. My take on this is that Correa is learning the ropes fast, leaving fans and prospectors to continue dreaming on what’s in store in the future.
His Bowman chrome prices are currently around: $50/$60 base auto, $80/$90 refractor, $220/$240 blue autos, and up from there on his gold, orange, and red. These prices are off around 20% to 30% from where his chrome debuted, and I think should hold steady for the time being, until his next advancement or until signs of a power swing come around.
He was drafted for his high ceiling, and, given the high marks scouts report on his work ethic and tools, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his cards prices are going to improve as he continues to hone his skills in the minors. See, more recently, Jurisckson Profar, Xander Boegarts,and Manny Machado for some examples of hot SS prospects whose card prices jump after some time in the minors. Correa is every bit of the prospect these guys are with one caveat, he’s younger and got more time to grow. I’m in on Correa seeking to buy, grade, and flip when the time is right. With any luck, he becomes the next Machado and we all know how coveted his rookie chrome cards are. Happy Prospecting out there.