Mr. October Carlos Correa Has Arrived and He is Beautiful

MLB: ALDS-Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a long time since the major Minnesota sports scene has had a postseason hero it can rally around and and feel confident about in the biggest moments.

That’s why Minnesota Twins fans have struggled to wrap their heads around what it was going to be like watching Carlos Correa evolve to a completely different level of baseball player, once leaves start turning and games matter more. But on Sunday night, Mr. October officially arrived, and he is beautiful.

Related: Twins Win Game 2: Pablo Lopez Lights Out vs Astros; ALDS Tied 1-1 Going to Minnesota

Mr. October: Carlos Correa

In a game 2 win at Houston, Correa did it all, including a 3-for-3 day with 2 doubles, a walk and 3 RBI. Through 1.5 series, you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody, in the MLB postseason, playing better. Correa’s 2023 postseason average is an absurd .533 (17 PA) — Yes, that’s batting average, not slugging percentage — and he’s touting a 1.322 OPS.

Since Royce Lewis carried most of the load in the Wildcard series vs the Toronto Blue Jays, the Twins offensive production has run through their $36 million man, Carlos Correa, who’s earning every single penny this postseason, even if he had fans and media members abandoning ship earlier this summer.

And it isn’t just about his offensive prowess or the clutch gene he can seemingly tap into at will, it’s the constant state of focus and attention to detail that his teammates feed off of and fans appreciate. He runs great bases, leads mound meetings and notices things others don’t. Not to mention, his gold glove and platinum arm, which C4 used to put a bow on game 2 last night.

When playoff time comes around, the newly turned 29-year-old has a calm and presence about him that’s impossible not to notice, even from your living room. After a season worth of struggles, Correa is suddenly the best baseball player in the world.

Mr. October shows up no matter how summer went…

And let’s remember just how bad things got for Mr. October, during the 6-month regular season that preceded. Because, it was ugly. Correa put up some of the worst numbers in his MLB career, in his second year with the Twins, first under a long-term deal.

In 580 plate appearances in 2023, Carlos Correa posted a career-low batting average (.230), on-base % (.312), *OPS (.711), *OPS+ (94) and he lead Major League Baseball in double plays grounded into (30). As a HUGE proponent of bringing C4 back, after he dipped his toe in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for one summer in 2022, this season has been hard to watch and stomach.

*only counting seasons where Correa played 60 games or more

Related: Twins Need Postseason GOAT Carlos Correa to Show Up vs Blue Jays

Fans and media were grumbling, even throwing “O” words at him, like, “overrated” and “overpaid”. In classic Minnesota sports fashion, the largest contract in franchise history was already looking like another record-setting flop, only one year into the 6-year marriage.

But those days feel like decades ago, instead of weeks. Because, in October, Carlos Correa shows up no matter what. That’s how you climb to #3 all-time in postseason RBI (63) — passed Derek Jeter and David Ortiz in game 2 –, 2nd in WPA (3.1) and 7th in total playoff bases.

Hits RBIHome RunsTotal BasesDoublesWin Probability Added (WPA)
Derek Jeter – 200Bernie Williams – 80Manny Ramirez – 29Derek Jeter – 302Derek Jeter – 32David Ortiz – 3.2
Bernie Williams – 128Manny Ramirez – 78Jose Altuve – 24Bernie Williams – 223Bernie Williams – 29Carlos Correa – 3.1
Manny Ramirez – 117Carlos Correa – 63Bernie Williams – 22Manny Ramirez – 223Jorge Posada – 23Lance Berkman – 2.7
Jose Altuve – 106David Justice – 63Derek Jeter – 20Jose Altuve – 196David Ortiz – 22Pete Rose -2.6
Jorge Posada – 103Derek Jeter – 61Albert Pujols – 19Albert Pujols – 174Carlos Correa – 19Albert Pujols – 2.6
Yadier Molina – 102David Ortiz – 61George Springer – 19David Ortiz – 165Manny Ramirez – 19Lou Gehrig – 2.3
Kenny Lofton – 97Albert Pujols – 54Carlos Correa – 18Carlos Correa – 163Justin Turner – 19Carlos Beltran – 2.3
Chipper Jones – 97Jose Altuve – 50Reggie Jackson – 18Jorge Posada – 161Yadier Molina – 19George Springer – 2.2
Albert Pujols – 97Reggie Jackson – 48Mickey Mantle – 18Chipper Jones – 154Jose Altuve – 18David Freese – 2.1
Carlos Correa – 90Chipper Jones – 47Nelson Cruz – 18David Justice – 152Chipper Jones – 18Justin Turner – 2.0

Minnesota Twins teammates finding out, old teammates already know

Correa’s old teammates, in Houston, know what’s coming when he comes up to bat in big moments and it has to be a powerless feeling. Just ask Jose Altuve, who told Donovan Solano that his old teammate was going to break the game open in the 5th inning. Moments later, Carlos broke the game open in the 5th inning.

Now, everyone in the clubhouse is starting to believe in the stories they had been read as kids about the Mr. October legend who is Carlos Correa, because they’re watching it unfold right before their eyes. What that has to mean for teammates with less postseason experience is unmeasurable.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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