The Minnesota Twins encountered a multitude of problems in the 2021 campaign, but one of the biggest ones was the absolutely putrid performance in the shortstop position. Andrelton Simmons, who had been signed on a weird deal, wasn’t expected to carry the team with his bat. Far from it.
But even when adjusting their expectations for the longtime defensive wizard, the Twins couldn’t have expected such poor numbers. Simmons would go on to carry a .274 slugging percentage in 141 games, he had a mere 15 extra-base hits in 451 plate appearances.
Looking ahead to the 2022 season, the expectations for the season weren’t necessarily as high, especially coming off a disappointing 73-89 campaign. Still, looking specifically at the shortstop position, there was a lot of excitement, and justly so, after all, the team went out there and snagged one of the premier names on the market in Carlos Correa.
Unlike Seager, Correa decided to wait until after the lockout, and how that did affect his market, it’s hard to know. Still, the former Astro chose to take on a shorter three-year contract with a couple of player opt-outs, hoping to re-enter the market soon. The Twins were his choice for that deal.
With the All-Star break coming up, it is a good time to look back at Correa’s first half with the Twins, recognize the impact he’s had on this team, and acknowledge the biggest factor to the success of this signing.
Carlos Correa’s has been one of the biggest keys to the Minnesota Twins’ success.
Although Correa had been healthy for his last two years with the Astros, he’s had his fair share of injury woes in his career. From 2017 through 2019, the shortstop failed to top 110 games in each year and saw an MVP-effort cut short in 2017 because of it.
Through 91 games, Correa has played in 68 of them, missing just a little time with a freak injury when he was hit in the hand by a pitch against the Orioles. Much like with Buxton, the Minnesota Twins have chosen to err on the side of caution with him, not constantly running him out there.
Through these 68 games, Correa’s carried a 129 wRC+, right in line with his career number (128), and there was very little doubt about him as a player, as long as he was able to remain healthy.
Although the glove work has been disappointing, Correa is on pace for a career-low in Outs Above Average sitting in the 13th percentile, when he was a frequent presence in those leaderboards, but overall, the experience has been extremely positive for Correa with the Twins.
Given his ability to stay on the field for the majority of the season, apart from that freak hit-by-pitch incident, the Minnesota Twins are getting what they bargained for in a drastic improvement at the shortstop position. He’s clearly one of many reasons why this team went from a 73-89 record through a division-leading campaign in 2022.
For how long Correa will be a Twin is hard to know. He has an opt-out at the end of the year, but for now, he’s a staple of this team, and his possible departure would be a big hit for the Twins. Right now, we can enjoy his success.