Astros send top prospect Correa to Minors

Shortstop expected to begin the season with Double-A Corpus Christi

Carlos Correa finished his spring campaign with a .341 average and an .884 OPS. (Mark LoMoglio/MiLB.com)

By Tyler Maun / MiLB.com | March 29, 2015 7:22 PM

A day after posting his first three-hit game of big league Spring Training for the Astros, top Houston prospect Carlos Correa headed back to Minor League camp Sunday to prepare for his likely Opening Day assignment to Double-A Corpus Christi.

With six hits in his last nine at-bats, MLB.com's No. 3 overall prospect surged to the finish line in his Grapefruit League stay with a .341/.372/.512 slash line. Correa recorded four multi-hit games in his 18 appearances for Houston. He mashed two homers, scored seven runs and drove in five. With a successful spring season behind him, Correa said Sunday that he feels closer to "The Show" than ever.

"I feel like I can taste it," he told MLB.com. "I feel really close. I feel like I had a great camp. I felt like I learned a lot this year."

The top overall pick in the 2012 Draft was in the midst of a second consecutive breakout season last year when he suffered a fractured fibula while playing for Class A Advanced Lancaster on June 21. In 62 games for the JetHawks, Correa batted .325/.416/.510 with six home runs, 57 RBIs and 50 runs scored. Of Correa's 81 hits last season, 28 went for extra bases, including 16 doubles and six triples.

"I got better out there on the field," Correa told MLB.com of his Grapefruit League stay. "It's about improving every single day and keep working hard to be ready to play at this level every single day."

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow praised his franchise's rising cornerstone.

"Carlos is going to be a star player in the big leagues. It's just a matter of time," Luhnow told MLB.com. "Having never had an at-bat in Double-A, he needs to go get some regular work in the high Minors. He did a great job for us on the field as well as off the field, and I think he's got a lot of fans in the organization, and he impressed the big league staff -- which is what you want as a young player."

Correa was one of eight cuts for the Astros on Sunday that also included No. 19 prospect Max Stassi. In 101 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City last year, the catcher batted .247/.296/.378 with nine homers and 45 RBIs.

Tyler Maun is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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