The Carlos Correa Conundrum

Geez, this guy is really into alliterative blog titles.

That’s part of it. The other is I’m facing an interesting decision in a couple of weeks as I’ve been assigned the fourth pick in the upcoming Mixed LABR (League of Alternative Baseball Reality) draft.

The four-hole is my least desired spot. Best-case scenario is Paul Goldschmidt slips, which is plausible if I’m drafting behind a couple of Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw fans. My top-two are Goldschmidt then Mike Trout. If I had the third pick, I’d decide between Kershaw and Harper, with the decision revolving around the league size and format. With the fourth, I’d settle for the guy that’s left.

Or Carlos Correa.

Let’s back up a bit. This last happened with Mike Trout and is now occurring with Correa. He’s not being drafted based on how everyone projects he will do but rather how everyone wants him to do.

The number-crunchers look at Correa’s sudden power spike last season, cite an unsustainable home run per fly ball rate in tandem with a high groundball percent and expect a huge power drop – knocking him from first round consideration.

Then there’s an anti-sabermetric faction that hopes Correa knocks fifty out of the yard just to stick it to the quants.

A bunch of fantasy players prefer to watch the games, saw the easy power Correa possesses and could care less about the stupid HR/FB and groundball percentage, this guy’s AWESOME!

And to be fair, there’s some number crunchers that hope Correa falls flat on his face to teach the eye-testers a lesson – don’t ignore the numbers.

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Each of these groups WANTS Correa to perform in a certain manner as much (if not more) than they FEEL he will. They’re not drafting their projection; they’re drafting their philosophy.

Confession time: I belong to the quant group that expects Correa to give back a lot of last season’s power. And yeah, a little bit of me hopes he does it to validate my methods.

On the other hand, I watch games too. Correa’s must-see TV. I honestly have not seen as pretty a swing since Freddie Lynn in the mid to late ’70s.

But here’s the thing. Playing DFS has taught me some stuff that’s applicable to my seasonal game play. If you play in just a couple of season-long leagues, this may not apply. However, if you have multiple teams, it makes sense to diversify your portfolio, especially if you’re playing in high stakes leagues or a league like LABR where second place is first loser.

Personally, I am reticent to take Correa in the first round (or pay $30-plus in an auction). The drop in power as well as the lack of a track record worries me. Some assume Correa can handle the rigors of a full 162-game schedule at the big-league level as well as assuming he can avoid injury despite playing the very involved position of shortstop. We honestly don’t KNOW.

But what if he can? What if his HR/FB drops a bit but he ups his fly ball rate by turning on some mistakes?

This guy could be the best player in fantasy baseball!

DFS has taught me it’s OK to occasionally draft what’s plausible as opposed to what’s probable. In fact, sometimes it’s the right thing to do.

Like in Mixed LABR.

By opening day, I’m going to need an extra set of hands to count all my teams. I have no clue what my draft spot will be or how much it will cost to buy Correa in an auction. However, I KNOW I have the fourth pick in LABR. This may be my best opportunity to take the chance in a league I really, really want to win. That is, this isn’t just goofy column fodder. I want to win my first LABR or Tout Wars title as much as I want to win a high stakes league. Maybe more.

So don’t be surprised if I’m justifying taking Correa fourth despite ranking him much lower.

Unless, of course, Goldschmidt slides. Because, after all, I really do want to win this league.