Carlos Correa is living up to the hype.
Called up on June 8–almost exactly three years after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Astros out of high school–the 20-year-old shortstop has played at an MVP level for two months despite being the youngest position player in the entire American League.
Correa homered Monday night for the fourth time in four games, giving him a total of 13 homers in 48 career games along with a .297 batting average, 14 doubles, 14 walks, five steals, and a .917 OPS. And he’s looked good defensively, too.
Here are the top OPS totals by shortstops this season:
CARLOS CORREA .917
Troy Tulowitzki .835
Brandon Crawford .819
Jhonny Peralta .804
And as impressive as it is to sit atop that list, it probably short-changes just how rare it is for a shortstop to be hitting this well while being this young. In the entire history of baseball here are the top OPS totals posted by 20-year-old shortstops with at least 150 plate appearances:
Alex Rodriguez 1.045 1996
CARLOS CORREA .917 2015
Arky Vaughan .787 1932
Jose Reyes .769 2003
Jim Fregosi .761 1962
I’m sure Correa will come back down to earth at some point or at least experience a slump, but for now he’s leading all MLB shortstops in OPS and the only 20-year-old shortstop in MLB history to out-hit him is Alex Rodriguez.
Everyone knew Correa was going to be good–he was a No. 1 pick and a consensus top-five prospect this season and last season–but for him to be this great this soon is a surprise. And really, that’s the story of the entire Astros team that sits atop the AL West at 60-47.
In the wake of that Jose Bautista-Yordano Ventura Twitter beef, former catcher and Blue Jays analyst Gregg Zaun — who, last we heard from him was arguing in favor of hazing and abusing young players — delivered a verbal open letter to Yordano Ventura before yesterday’s Blue Jays-Twins game. The transcript:
“Dear Yordano Venutra. Are you seriously running your mouth? You don’t even have 3 years of uninterrupted service time. The only reason you’re even in the show right now is because Jason Vargas blew out.
“They sent you back to the semi-pros because you were stinking up the place. You weigh about a buck twenty five and should probably be watching your back.
“Jose Bautista is a 6 time all-star with 269 lifetime homers and 12 years of service time. Hardly a nobody. Show some respect and stop writing checks with your mouth that your skinny ass can’t cash. Especially from the safety of your team bus as you exit town with your tail between your legs? Don’t puff your chest out and challenge a grown man via Twitter, and then erase the tweets. Go knock on the Jays clubhouse door and do it like a man if you feel that strongly.
“Stop acting like Tommy-Tough Guy while hiding behind the internet and a dozen teammates. Stop running your mouth kid. We all know what you’re about, there’s no confusion there. You’re the guy who throws 100 mile an hour fastballs at guys when you know you don’t have to hit, or face the Jays again in the regular season. Grab a bat and man up. Otherwise shut up.
“Sincerley yours, The Manalyist. Section 134, at the Rogers Center in case you’re wondering where I’ll be.”
Apparently no one told Zaun that Ventura apologized. Otherwise, nice rant.
In other Zaun news, he was on “The Drive with Danny & CDot” on 610 AM in Kansas City today. Towards the end of the interview, the hosts asked him if the Blue Jays stole signs, which was the gist of Ventura’s complaints. His response: the Blue Jays stole signs when he played for them, that if you’re a pitcher and you’re too dumb to not hide your signs you deserve to get them stolen, and that A-Rod was the best sign-stealer he’s ever seen.
So I guess he was more angry with Ventura over tone than content. Fun times.
Last night Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura went off on Jose Bautista on Twitter, calling him a “nobody” and accusing him of stealing signs. All of this in response to the plunking war between the Blue Jays and Royals yesterday, after which Bautista had negative things to say about Ned Yost.
Ventura has now apologized. He did it to Bautista via Twitter. Or, at least, by screencapping a long apology and then tweeting it at him:
Still wondering how things fly between these two teams should they meet in the playoffs. But for now, it appears, tempers are cooling. As tempers do.