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AMP Mailbag: Correa's Strikeout Rate

The AMP is back and Subber10 opens up the mailbag to take a look at some expectations for Carlos Correa and his strikeout rate this season and how it might translate to the majors.

Rob Foldy

The AMP (Astros Minors Podcast) is slowly making a return to the season and it'll start with a mailbag question. Our first question of the season comes from Nashmeister:

Two parter:

What's a reasonable expectation for Correa's K% this season between high-A and AA? And how do we think that will translate to the majors?

The simple answer is something similar to what he posted last year in Quad Cities. You have several factors that were in play last year like; cold weather early in the season, first full-season league assignment, first full-season stateside, a few minor injuries here and there, blah blah blah.

This year he'll have a new list of factors that will be in play; higher level of competition, higher expectations, known commodity, hitter-friendly environment that "could create bad habits", crazy dust storms, and again will face some very cold night games.

All of that plays into what could likely be a very similar strikeout rate. Last year he had a 16% strikeout rate which is quite good. Drool worthy even when considering his power potential.

The argument can be made that he could really post a much lower rate considering if you exclude April, Correa posted a 13.9% strikeout rate. But, with the increase in competition which usually results in a mild increase in strikeout rate, a comparable strikeout rate is a good idea for expectations.

The next question about what he could do in the majors actually ties in VERY well. Since you normally expect some mild increases in strikeout rate per level, what's reasonable for the majors?

I want to draw your attention to a great post from Chris St. John at Beyond The Boxscore looking at this very thing. He published a series of posts looking at each level and creating what is essentially major league equivalent ranges for strikeout rate and walk rates. Based on Correa being in his age 18 season last year while in Low-A, we can use Chris' table to identify where Correa's rates from last season might fall once he's in the majors.

Using his tables, we find that of the sample that Chris used, there are only 18 players that fall into a comparable strikeout percentage range of 15-20% and who played their age 18 season in Low-A. Of those 18, 17% had 0-499 total PA in the majors, 6% had 500+ PA, and 0-10% strikeout rate, 17% had 500+ PA and 10-15% strikeout rate, 44% had 500+ PA and a 15-20% strikeout rate, and 17% had 500+ PA and a 20-25% strikeout rate.

That indicates that the highest likelihood of range for his strikeout rate would be a comparable rate that continues to fall in the 15-20% range. However, there is a chance for him to go either way as well.

Note: If you wanted to extract April from his numbers and use the 14% rate, the sample size drops, the comparison of falling shy of 500 PA goes up to 40% but the comparison for a 10-15% strikeout rate also climbs to 40%.

Added bonus: With his 11% walk rate, the largest comparison group was the 43% that failed to reach 500 PA and the next biggest group, 29% who recorded 500+ PA and a 10-13% walk rate in the majors.

We are looking at restarting the live recording of the AMP this coming Sunday. Get your questions in!