Carlos Correa played his 50th game Wednesday night, and he's continued to exceed the lofty expectations that began the moment he was selected by the Astros with the first pick in the 2012 draft. Astros fans know that he's already one of the top shortstops in the majors. I was curious, though, to see how he compares to other young shortstops in the history of major league baseball.
Correa's first bit of history comes via this article: Correa has more home runs (13) in his first 50 games than any shortstop in major league history. Ever. We're witnessing an historic career already, and he's only just begun tap into his talent.
My next step was to use the invaluable Play Index search tool at Baseball Reference. I wanted to see the best seasons for shortstops age 20 or younger in MLB history. The results? Through 50 games, Correa already has the seventh best season (ranked by WAR) for a shortstop age 20 years or younger. With roughly another 50 games to play, he's on pace for the 2nd best season in MLB history for a shortstop his age.
We're watching Correa turn in the greatest season for a young shortstop outside of Alex Rodriguez' ridiculous 1996 season. That season, of course, took place during one of the highest run scoring periods in baseball history. It's amazing to consider Correa coming close to the level of a young A-Rod.
Wins above replacement doesn't measure only offensive numbers, it incorporates defense and baserunning as well. The power, the sparkling defensive plays, the stolen bases... Correa does it all. He's also doing it at an age when most players haven't reached the majors. As Astros fans we get the privilege to watch this historic talent every night.