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Astros 40 in 40: Carlos Correa

Statistically, it's rare that any given prospect becomes a solid, long-tenured player. Most bust or can't stick around for long at all.

Rarer still is the prospect that becomes a really good player, someone who has a very significant career, worthy of fandom and remembrance.

And then there are those once-a-generation, at best, finds. Those gems that meet and then exceed expectations, who fulfill all hope, who actually live up to the hype, no matter how crazy.

The hype couldn't have been crazier for Carlos Correa. Number one overall pick, in the running for the best prospect in baseball from the get-go. We had a picture of his head Photoshopped onto the body of a fictional super hero before he was out of A-ball. His nickname online was the same as that Yankees guy before he even had a MLB at bat. And yet, somehow, it never ended up seeming silly. At some point, reality lined up with hype. It almost never, ever does.

He was 20-years-old when he came up, and was immediately handed jersey #1. He was inserted into the heart of the lineup less than a week after. No one blinked. No one raised an eyebrow. This was right, unbelievable as it seemed, and everyone knew it. He had 20 Big League long balls on his record before he was legally able to drink, and finished with 22, not counting a pair of clutch, breath-taking bombs that would have done in the eventual-world-champ Royals if not for one of the franchise's most disastrous bullpen meltdowns. After all that, and play after dazzling play on defense, it was a no-brainer Rookie of the Year, just the second in more than half a century for the city of Houston.

He won't be 22-years-old until just a couple of weeks before the playoff run everyone assumes he'll lead this team to and through, and there's virtually no one on the planet who doesn't think he'll be somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-30 homers and 20-25 stolen bases by then. Or more. Heck, .300/.400/.550, 40 homers, 30 steals, MVP and a ring. Why not? It wouldn't be the first time everyone believed in the crazy and it happened. If anyone can, it's this guy. He is Captain Correa, the hero this city both needs and deserves.