Star shortstop Carlos Correa, who was at the center of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in the 2017 season and was the hottest potato in the free agency market in 2021-2022, is suffering from serious sluggishness in the first year of a long-term free agent contract.
Correa, who obtained FA qualification after Houston’s World Series loss in the 2021 season, did not hesitate to make remarks disparaging the Gold Glove Award of New York Yankees’ legendary shortstop Derek Jeter in the market situation at the time when star shortstops such as Seager and Baez were crowded. I even spit it out.
However, as the aftermath of these remarks and the player’s own exorbitant ransom demand coincided, his popularity in the market plummeted, and he ended up signing a three-year, $105 million (134.4 billion) contract with the Minnesota Twins with an annual opt-out option.
Correa, who performed well with 22 homers and an OPS of 0.834 in the 2022 season, came back to the free agency market and seemed to agree to a 13-year total of $350 million (about 448 billion won) with San Francisco, but an ankle problem in the medical test discovered and the contract was broken. Right after that, the contract with the New York Mets, who attempted an unprecedented hijacking with a 12-year, 315 million dollar (approximately 403.4 billion won) contract, was canceled due to the same problem.
Correa, who has been the hottest potato in the free agent market for the past two years, negotiates with Minnesota, the original team, to pay 200 million dollars in 6 years (approximately 255 billion won) that can grow up to 270 million dollars in 10 years (approximately 345 billion won). ) agreed on the contract.
However, this season, the first season of a long-term contract, hit-and-run .232 .308 .407 12 homers, 45 RBIs, wRC+ 95 (adjusted scoring production), fWAR 1.1 (contribution to victory versus substitute players), which was a disappointing result, and Minnesota clubs and fans Anxiety is growing.
His performance against fastballs plummeted, from a top shortstop to a mediocre hitter
Until last year, Correa recorded a career OPS of .906 against fastball pitches, showing top-tier performance among all hitters in the major leagues. did. The biggest reason why the performance of fastball pitches has deteriorated so much is that Correa’s ability to respond to fastballs has declined significantly.
Prior to this season, Correa recorded a career OPS of .732 against fastballs over 95 mph (153 km/h), and especially recorded an OPS of 0.863 over the past two seasons. Recently, he has shown a rather strong side.
However, in the 2023 season, his hitting performance plummeted this season as his responsiveness declined significantly, with his OPS dropping to 0.355, barely making a hit against fastballs.
The best line drive hitter who lost face, should reduce the launch angle deviation
Originally, Correa was one of the hitters who most often produced sharp line drive balls (balls with a launch angle of 20 degrees or less/ball launch speed of 95 miles or more) among active hitters.
In addition, the overall quality of line drive hits was also the highest in the league since his debut, including the league’s highest batting average (0.685) and slugging percentage (1.078).
However, this season, as the ability to respond to fastballs decreased, the launch angle of line drive batted balls also increased, and as a result, the quality of batted balls, which was one of Correa’s greatest strengths, also declined.
Not only this, but the overall at-bat approach was greatly shaken, and fly ball hits decreased and ground ball hits increased, and the sweet spot percentage, which means the ratio of hits with an ideal launch angle (8 degrees to 32 degrees), also reached 31%, the lowest level since debuting as a pro. are staying in
The widening of the batted ball launch angle is also considered the main reason for Correa’s lowest batting average (0.232) since his ML debut.안전놀이터
Currently, Correa’s team, Minnesota, is in first place in the American League Central Division, two games behind second-place Cleveland. Since the overall strength of the AL Central Division’s teams is less competitive than other divisions, if Correa rebounds as a shortstop with both offensive and defensive capabilities, it is likely that he will be able to comfortably secure a postseason advance.
Will Correa be able to make the San Francisco and New York Mets regret that they broke their contracts while boosting their performance in the second half? With a career-high 0.849 OPS and 59 RBIs in the postseason, Correa, who is showing strong performance in fall baseball, will be able to overcome the worst slump since his debut and lead Minnesota to the postseason.