Fangraphs has Carlos Correa as baseball’s best young asset

Fangraphs has listed Carlos Correa as basically the number one star in the game, in terms of being a trade value asset. Here’s what Dave Cameron had to say:

The A-Rod comparisons are unfair, but with what Correa is doing this year, they also don’t look completely insane. In his age-20 to -22 seasons, Rodriguez posted a 138 wRC+; Correa currently stands at 135. The breakout that everyone’s been expecting looks like it is here, and with his 161 wRC+ so far this season, Correa has officially become a superstar.

Now, before we say too much, I should note that those ZiPS projections aren’t as rosy as they were a year ago, when the system was forecasting Correa to surpass Trout as the best player in baseball in a few years. Dan Szymborski made some adjustments to his model over the winter, and the result was a bit more conservative forecasts for elite young players — Seager’s projections are also worse this year than last year — so Correa is no longer expected to quite reach Trout’s level.

But a +7 WAR forecast is still pretty amazing and speaks to the rarity of Correa’s offensive abilities at this age. His power development has made him an elite hitter for any position, but he’s also improved enough defensively that no one is talking about moving him off shortstop anymore. So for the foreseeable future, the Astros have a guy who hits like a first baseman playing shortstop.

The industry adores Correa. As I noted last year, when I polled people in the game on the Correa-versus-Seager question, the answers overwhelmingly come down in Correa’s favor. The same was true this year. Correa’s monster first half isn’t seen as just a nice stretch; people have been expecting this to happen. This is what people thought was coming. No one is surprised that Correa has turned into one of the best hitters in the American League, even though he’s still just 22.

And, of course, there’s the contract. Even with generous arbitration estimates, he’s probably looking at something in the $40 to $45 million range over the next four years. So not only does he provide an extra year that Trout does not, he also gives you roughly $60 million to spend on someone else. And because he hasn’t yet landed that made-for-life contract, an acquiring team have a few years to talk him into signing a deal that buys out some free-agent seasons, potentially giving them some longer-term value as well.

So, by the slimmest of margins, Carlos Correa is our new most valuable player in baseball when contracts are included in the discussion. There’s a reason the Astros are so good right now. Their shortstop is the biggest one.

From 10 to 1, here was the complete list:
10. Corey Kluber (?)
9. Mookie Betts
8. Anthony Rizzo
7. Trea Turner
6. Aaron Judge
5. Francisco Lindor
4. Kris Bryant
3. Corey Seager
2. Mike Trout
1. Carlos Correa

You can see numbers 11 through 20 right here. Unless I’m missing something, Bryce Harper did not even make the list.