Predicting the Future: Carlos Correa Is Twice the Teen You Think He Is
Thanks to Bret for giving me the opportunity to opine about Fantasy Baseball and Dynasty Leagues, and thanks to you for reading along at home.
Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Mike Trout have recently made headlines for their amazing ability to step into the majors at such a young age, but this trio has one more thing in common; all were only 17 years old when they were drafted.
Rany Jazayerli of Baseball Prospectus studied the value very young high school players provide over the course of their careers versus standard aged HS draft picks. He found that the five youngest players drafted will have TWICE as much value as the oldest players drafted. This work pulls from the aging curve Bill James created so long ago, the implication being that the younger a player is, the more likely he is to improve over a short period of time. Jazayerli explains, “Take two players who are equally valuable today; if one of them is 25 and the other is 26, the difference between their long-term projections is minor. If one of them is 20 and one of them is 21, the differences can be massive, and much greater than you would intuitively expect.”
Which brings us to Carlos Correa:
He was 17 on draft day and was the youngest player drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft.
He’s hitting .409/.480/.606 in August
He’s the 3rd youngest hitter in the Midwest League, with the 6th best overall wRC+ (153).
He can throw a ball 97 MPH.
He’s was the youngest player at the Futures game, got a 1560 on his SATs and is already bigger than his listed 6’4” 190 lbs.
Next year, Carlos Correa will become the #1 fantasy prospect.
Currently, Byron Buxton is slated as the #1 prospect, but the simple fact is that he’s nine months older than Correa, which makes Correa’s stats that much more impresive. When Buxton was 18, he ‘only’ compiled a 125 and 135 wRC+ at Rookie ball. While that sounds great, when you compare that to Correa, who at 18 is putting up a 153 wRC+ at A-Ball, it’s starts to become clear how good Correa really is. As long as Correa continues to develop as a player, and I believe he will, next year we will see Correa overtake Buxton in prospect rankings. Buxton is a great player in his own right, and he’s been outstanding so far in his brief career, but Correa has the ability to be even better. Once he achieves that #1 ranking, Correa’s value will skyrocket in Dynasty leagues.
Correa has the makeup and ability to carve out a quick path to the majors, which should put him in line to be a fantasy asset by mid 2015 (his age 20 season). As Correa fills out he looks like he could be a 25-30 HR hitter in his prime while being able to maintain a .290-.300 Avg along with a .360-.380 OBP. While he’ll never be a burner he has the ability to top out around 10 steals but even without much speed we are still looking at a pretty massive fantasy contributor at the SS slot.
I highly recommend getting your hands on Correa this year, or in the off-season, while he is still ranked in the teens. If you can’t, take a look at some of these other very young players who were drafted in 2013 and may currently be undervalued in your league.
Pick 9 OF, Austin Meadows (DOB 5/3/95)
Pick 11 1B, Mets, Dominic Smith (DOB 6/15/95)
Pick 25 SS, SF, Christian Arroyo (DOB 5/30/95)
Pick 52 SS, Ari, Justin Williams (DOB 8/20/95)
I tweet about Baseball/Digital/Funny things @lukechatelain, feel free to hit me up with comments, questions or jabs about my lesser intellect.