Healthy Correa keeps hits coming

Astros prospect goes 3-for-5, drives in two runs, scores twice

By Josh Jackson / Special to | May 15, 2013 9:26 PM ET

The only bad games Carlos Correa seems to have in the Midwest League are those in which he doesn't play.

Correa,'s No. 29 overall prospect, missed time with bumps and bruises earlier this month, but he's celebrated his return with hot hitting, like the 3-for-5 performance that contributed to Class A Quad Cities' 9-4 win over Wisconsin on Wednesday night.

Correa doubled, knocked in two runs and scored twice while putting together his third straight multi-hit game. He started the season hot and didn't cool down until he sustained a minor back injury while diving for a ball in foul territory on April 12 in 41-degree weather. Then, on April 30, he took a pitch on the wrist and was out until May 10.

"I start playing and then I stopped playing because of my back, and then I start playing again and I got hit in the wrist, so I had to stop playing again," Correa said. "You need two weeks of playing every day to really settle in. Now I'm getting to go out and work hard. I hope I can stay healthy and play every day and keep working hard every day with this team."

Against the Timber Rattlers, Correa fouled out on a botched a bunt attempt in the first inning.

"It was a fastball in a little bit and up. It was a bad pitch," he said, "and I was kind of late in getting the bunt set. We're working on every part of the game though."

The 18-year-old shortstop shrugged off that at-bat and singled in the third. He delivered an RBI base hit and scored in the River Bandits' four-run fifth and his RBI double keyed another four-run rally in the sixth.

"Both of the times, the pitcher tried to throw me a fastball and it was a spot I could hit it," Correa said. "When they give them to me, I just try to drive the ball; and if they don't, I change my approach. [The double was off] a fastball inside, a little bit up. I just put a good swing on that ball. It's not my best pitch [to hit], but I got a good swing on it and drove it a little bit."

Quad Cities leadoff man Teoscar Hernandez, who bats in front of Correa, was 4-for-5 with a walk and three runs scored. Miles Hamblin -- who hits one spot behind Correa -- went 2-for-2 with three walks and a pair of RBIs. The 15 hits were the most the River Bandits have had in a game since April 30.

"We have a good lineup," Correa said. "Teoscar does a great job, getting on base and stuff and Hamblin driving in runs. It comes from hard work. We're always hitting the cages. We work really hard, so we go out and play the games hard, too. It's starting to pay off now."

There were some hard times Wednesday for Correa, who got caught stealing third base to end the third inning and was charged with his fifth error of the season in the fourth.

"I was watching [Wisconsin starter Leonard Lorenzo] the whole game and he was looking once and then going to the plate," Correa said. "I thought I had a chance to put us at third and second for Jesse [Wierzbicki]. Jesse's our No. 4 guy and he can really hit, so I thought I'd give him a chance at two RBIs. But the pitcher looked once and then I thought he was going home. But he held the ball, and, yeah, he got me."

The misplay at short shows up as an error in the box score, but the Astros' No. 2 prospect believes he ran into some bad luck and would play it the same way if he had to do it over again.

"That error, it was an error, but it was a really hard-hit ball," Correa said. "It was a line drive and it bounced twice and bounced off my hand and it went into left field. I did my best on it. I put my body in front of the ball and I planted my feet, but that was a hard line drive. I mean, I can't control everything that happens in a play, and that was a really hard play. It's not like I'm trying to make errors. I just do what I can do.

"I've worked on getting to balls up the middle, making turns, everything, and that is paying off, too. I made three great plays tonight, I think. I mean, there were a couple of really tough plays today and other than that one play, I'm really happy with how we played."

Brewers No. 15 prospect Orlando Arcia also collected three hits, stole a base and drove in a run for Wisconsin. After batting .190 through his first 32 games, he's 6-for-11 over his last three.

Josh Jackson 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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