Like many of you, I got caught up in the emotional side of things earlier this year when we found out late on a Friday night that Carlos Correa was heading to the Minnesota Twins for what was essentially three one year deals. It did not make sense to the emotional side of our brains. How could the Astros not keep their leader? How could the platinum glove winner walk on a deal that seemed so affordable.
The reality of Major League Baseball is that you will never be able to keep everyone. That really becomes the case when you are as loaded as the Astros have been for years. That does not mean that they have not made mistakes as the years have gone on. For myself, there are two guys they let walk that I really look back on and wish they had paid. It is George Springer and Charlie Morton. Both players went on to continue performing at very high levels and the team could have really used both once they were gone. On top of that, they both left for what look like very affordable deals. And before you even bother tweeting me, the story that Springer did not want to come back to Houston is not true. You cannot believe everything you read on twitter.
Back to the point here. As we near the All-Star break, it has become increasingly clear that the Astros made the right move allowing Correa to leave and letting Peña take over at short. The offensive numbers outside of walks are incredibly similar and for myself, the more I watch, the more I am convinced that Peña has better potential at the plate than Correa probably ever achieved during his time in Houston. Defensive metrics have said that Peña has been the better player this season despite a pretty typical rookie year that has included a higher number of errors than you might love. Despite those errors, it is very clear that he will be an elite level defender for years to come.
The one thing we do not know with Jeremy Peña is how he will do when the bright lights of October show up. Nobody loved that stage more than Carlos Correa did in his time in Houston. If Peña is anything like most of the Astros homegrown stars, odds say he will show up in October for many years to come.