Carlos Correa is Completely Obsessed with WAR

Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Correa hit another home run on Monday, in yet another Minnesota Twins win led by their surging offense. When your team’s leader — and highest paid player by far — is producing like he’s paid to, it’s a lot easier for everyone else to fall into their individual roles behind him.

And that’s exactly what we have seen at Target Field in 2024. We’ve talked a lot about youngsters Royce Lewis, and more recently Brooks Lee, who have been the high-rising fireworks grabbing headlines the past couple months.

Carlos Correa leading red-hot Minnesota Twins

But it’s been Correa, the 3x All-Star and former World Series Champion, who has brought that much-needed consistency to the Twins lineup since Opening Day. Outside of a two-week stint on the injured list in mid-April, Carlos Correa has been this team’s rock, both offensively and defensively.

In 72 games played this season, Carlos Correa is batting .303 with a .886 OPS and 149 OPS+, to go with 12 HR, 46 RBI and 49 runs scored. He doesn’t have a Gold Glove at shortstop anymore (-1.0 def runs saved), but you wouldn’t know that watching him on a game-in, game-out basis, as he gobbles up everything and fires absolute LASERS across the diamond.

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican hasn’t scored or driven in more than 70 runs since 2021, his last season with the Astros. If he stays healthy and continues to rake, he will far exceed that number in both statistical categories this season. These numbers don’t touch on what he provides to the Twins in the off the field, which is a lot.

But you know, Carlos isn’t all that concerned with the above numbers. I mean, they matter. Because every run scored or driven in; every double, every home run; even the outs he makes on defense… it all goes toward what Correa really cares about. WAR. Carlos Correa is obsessed with his WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

Carlos Correa’s obsession with WAR (Wins Above Replacement)

And that means, he is obsessed with staying on the field. Because you can’t accumulate more WAR unless you accumulate games. So when Bob Nightengale (USA Today) asked the 2024 MLB All-Star about the first half of his season, Correa pointed to that two week stretch in April where he was on the IR. It cost him WAR, and he’s still bugged by it.

“It’s really good season, but I’d be a lot prouder if I played every game,” says Correa, who wakes up every morning to look at his WAR rating, which is currently 3.2, 22nd in baseball. “But the three weeks I missed cost me a lot and the teams as well. For me, staying healthy is the main thing. When I’m healthy, I know what I can do. The three weeks I missed, those are a lot of WAR points I missed. So, when people ask me what stats register the most, I say, games played. You play games, your WAR is going to be accumulated.”

Carlos Correa on how much WAR means to him

Related: Carlos Correa Named 2024 MLB All-Star

Wins Above Replacement is an all-encompassing accumulating statistic. It was created as an attempt to show how many wins an individual baseball player is worth, compared to an average player at his same position. So far in 2024, Correa has gained 3.2 bWAR and 3.3 fWAR, both about double what he produced last season at either website.

Both Fangraphs (fWAR) and Baseball Reference (bWAR) have their own iteration of Wins Above Replacement (Correa prefers Fangraphs). It was created in the early 2000s, before either site developed their own versions (more about WAR history).

Motivated by WAR

Correa has used WAR as a contract negotiating tool. It made his value easily comparable to others at his position, or in the market. But now that he is with the Minnesota Twins on a long-term deal, that doesn’t concern him anymore. In fact, he believes this contract may be his last.

Now, Correa stays motivated by his WAR obsession. Instead of using it to get paid, he wants to use it to pay the Twins back. Carlos told Nightengale, “they pay me this mound of money and I want to give back to them in WAR”. As long as the Twins keep him/his family happy and continue to pay him $33M per season in cash, he will continue to pile up more WAR. In turn, they should win more games. And who doesn’t love WAR and winning, amirite?

“This is the best thing that could have happened to me and my family. I don’t know what [SF or NYM] would have been like, but this is a great place with a great family environment and great people all around that care about you. These are people that I feel comfortable with that I’ve grown to love.”

“The contract is something that doesn’t motivate me anymore, so I’ve got to figure out new ways to keep me motivated. I strive to be the best shortstop I can be and WAR is a great stat to look at when evaluating the overall package. They pay me this mound of money and I want to give back to them in WAR.”

Carlos Correa (via Bob Nightengale – USA Today Sports)

No slow down in sight for MN Twins offense

When Correa went on the injured list for two weeks, others in the lineup found their footing. Then, their clubhouse leader returned, and everyone continued to hit. Since, through demotions, call ups and injured list maneuvers, the Twins have steadily built their offense into an absolute juggernaut.

Related: Former Minnesota Twins Slugger is Going Back on the Open Market

The craziest part is that, with Royce Lewis on the injured list, the MN Twins aren’t near 100%. Yet, it still feels like they’re going to put up 10 runs per game. When healthy, Carlos Correa is one of the best shortstops in Major League Baseball. He knows that, and he’s showing the baseball world this summer that he is still the standard.

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