Monday, May 11, 2015

Weighing in on the Carlos Correa Promotion

I have largely remained out of the fray as the twitterverse debated the merits of a Carlos Correa promotion, whether it be to AAA or to Houston. This was partly due to mixed feelings and partly due to a complete lack of time in which to write up my thoughts on the subject.

With today's news that Correa has been promoted to AAA Fresno, I feel compelled to weigh in with my thoughts. I have had the opportunity to see Carlos Correa several times over the years, not just in game situations but in early work, batting practice, etc., first in Greeneville in 2012, then in Quad Cities in 2013 and in Lancaster in 2014. What I saw was one of the most serious and dedicated young men you will ever lay eyes on. But Correa was SO serious. I rarely saw him smile or cut up with the other players before games. I actually asked then Lancaster Manager Rodney Linares last year if Correa ever had fun, and the answer I got was a lukewarm yes.

Then I went to Corpus Christi last weekend. Either Correa has become much more relaxed and is having a lot more fun at the ballpark or he is less guarded around me (or most likely, a combination of the two). I saw a ready smile from Correa, joking in the dugout before the game and just an overall "looseness" that I hadn't seen from him before.

Carlos Correa - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Correa is still as determined and hardworking as ever, but I think he now understands that, although he still strives to be perfect, he will fall short of that mark. And I think he now understands that is OK, that lack of perfection doesn't equal failure. And I think he needed to understand that.

And I needed to see that. My concern that Correa would be too hard on himself if he struggled at a higher level suddenly evaporated. Coupled with his success in AA, I left Corpus convinced that a promotion to AAA was not only imminent, but was probably the right thing for him.

But a promotion directly to Houston? That's a whole other animal. As now Corpus Christi Manager Linares told me, "Could he play in the big leagues today? Yes. Should he? No." Linares would have liked to have had Correa a little longer. He wanted the other teams to see Correa two or three times in order to see how those pitchers adjusted to Correa and how he adjusted to them.

But Linares knew that he would likely lose Correa sooner rather than later and he felt strongly that a stint at AAA was in order. We agreed that Correa would be best served in the long run by having the opportunity to succeed at every level along the way. When he gets to Houston, it should be for good. Once he proves that he can handle AAA, send him on his way and let him make the adjustments he needs to make in order to succeed in the big leagues. If he knows that he has mastered every level along the way, he will be that much more confident and adaptable as he enters the big stage.

How long Correa will be at AAA will largely be up to him. I think it likely that he will make a case for himself quickly and we will see him in Houston no later than the end of June. Ultimately, Carlos will tell us when he's ready. And I, for one, can't wait to see him in an Astros uniform ... smiling, loose, happy and successful.


  1. Jayne, an exellent perspective that you wouldn't find via other channels! Thanks for taking the time to write.