The Houston Astros have announced their promotion of top shortstop prospect Carlos Correa.
Correa, 20, was the first overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He was ranked as the 4th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America coming into this season. He's continued to perform up to his high expectations.
Despite being almost seven years younger than the average Triple-A player, Correa has managed to slash a .266/.336/.447/.783 line with three homers and 11 runs batted in coming into today.
On the season, Correa has spent time in both Double- and Triple-A, and owns a much better .332/.404/.602/1.006 line over 240 plate appearances.
From MLB.com: "Correa combines outstanding tools and athleticism with a preternatural feel for the game. He's a gifted hitter, capable of hitting for both power and average. He covers the plate well and consistently makes hard contact."
The call-up of Correa has to be exciting for Astros fans. Knowing the saber-savvy front office led by general manager Jeff Luhnow, they would not want Correa's MLB service time clock to start unless they felt he was completely ready for the Majors.
This "premature" call-up, per se, is due to the Houston's great start. The club is 34-24 and leads the American League West by three and a half games. The team wants to hold that division, and calling up Correa could help them do just that.
""We want to keep our division lead and we want to win this division," Luhnow said (via Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle).
"We think [Correa is] a big part of what we can do."
The Astros have received a lot of pressure to promote Correa because they are playing meaningful games for the first time since at least 2010.
Starting shortstop Jed Lowrie tore a ligament in his right thumb and is out at least until the All-Star break. Marwin Gonzalez (63 OPS+) and Jonathan Villar (100 OPS+) have been filling in at short and have been below or at league average offensively.
Why waste your starting shortstop position when you already have the shortstop of the future down in Triple-A?
Carlos Correa, it's your turn.