Correa produces like top Draft pick

Houston's last No. 1 selection plates five runs for Quad Cities

Coming in, Carlos Correa had two hits in his last 17 at-bats. (Paul R. Gierhart/

By Brandon Simes / Special to | June 6, 2013 6:01 PM

Houston's Carlos Correa, last year's first overall selection in the First-Year Player Draft, has some advice for Mark Appel, whom the Astros selected with the first overall pick Thursday night.

"Just focus on making the organization proud, keep working hard and try to get to the big leagues as fast as possible," Correa said.

Appel may want to listen to the No. 2 prospect in his new organization. Correa finished a triple shy of a cycle while driving in five runs and scoring twice in Class A Quad Cities' 9-5 victory over Cedar Rapids just hours after Houston took the hard-throwing righty from Stanford.

"We were out in the clubhouse and listening to [the Draft] when they picked [Appel], then we had to go to stretch," Correa said. "I saw him getting called. I'm very excited to have him here with us in the organization. I'm looking forward to meeting him and being able to play together.

"It will be a lot of fun," he added. "Being selected No. 1 is such a big deal. He's got to be a good person outside the field and on, and the fans will love him."

Correa became the first player from Puerto Rico ever selected first in the Draft last June, which is why he wears the No. 1 on his jersey.

"I never thought it would be such a big deal, but when I went back to Puerto Rico, all the people were waiting for me at the airport and the news. It was a big deal for a couple of months. Wherever I went to eat, people wanted to take pictures," Correa said.

The shortstop smacked his fourth homer of the season to left field in the first inning, singled to left in the second and smacked his 11th double to left in the fourth.

Needing a triple to complete the cycle in his final at-bat in the eighth inning, Correa drew his 27th walk. In comparison, he's struck out 37 times. The 6-foot-4 shortstop had 12 walks and 44 strikeouts last season in his first taste of Minor League ball.

"We're working on our plate discipline," Correa said. "Walks are really good. Especially when I was struggling in the first part of the season, I got lots of walks even though my batting average wasn't so high."

Correa hit .221 in April, but got on base at a .384 clip via 15 walks, which the right-handed hitter attributed mostly to laying off curveballs in the dirt and sliders away. A .349 average in May combined with his three-hit night Thursday has's No. 28 prospect's average up to .286.

Jamaine Cotton (1-2) got the win with 3 1/3 innings of relief, allowing three runs (one earned), three hits, and striking out three. He came on with two on and two outs in the fifth and converted a ground ball back to the mound into the third out. Opposing starter Jose Berrios (4-3) took the loss after allowing nine runs (six earned) and five hits in 3 1/3 of his own. He also walked four and struck out six.

Dalton Hicks hit two solo homers for the Kernels.

Brandon Simes is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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