Twins

Carlos Correa Is Slowly Becoming 'One of Us' During His Hot Streak

Photo Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

There was something different about Carlos Correa’s home run on Thursday night. It appeared to be a simple two-run shot to the second deck in left field. However, what happened with the following celebration electrified the Minnesota Twins dugout and Target Field.

Pablo López awaited Correa with a freshly minted home run celebration jacket at the top of the Twins dugout. The Prince-themed coat was a new christening for Minnesota’s home run celebration during the eighth annual Prince night at Target Field following his death in 2016.

After Minnesota’s 6-2 win on Thursday, Correa told the media that he had to be the first player on the team to wear it.

Correa’s home run on Thursday came during one of the hottest streaks of his career. In the 14 games he’s played in June, Correa has hit .431/.453/.655 (1.008 OPS) and slugged four home runs. He has driven in 16 runs, leads the team with 25 hits for the month, and had an eight-game hitting streak entering the off-day.

Correa typically heats up in June. However, at this time last year, he looked to be fighting through plantar fasciitis every game. He had the worst month of June in his career in 2023, hitting .228/.268/.467, but still managed to hit five home runs and drive in 13 runs.

In the past two weeks, Correa has become the player that every fan was hopeful for when the Twins signed him two years ago, and it’s positively affecting the clubhouse. The Star Tribune’s Bobby Nightengale published a piece on June 15 highlighting Correa’s impact on his teammates as the team leader.

Nightengale noted the shortstop’s keen eye for observing his teammates play on and off the field and how Correa communicates his feedback. Correa is one of the best players in today’s game. He leads by example in how he plays and takes extra time to help those around him.

Fellow infielder and Puerto Rican José Miranda has likely benefitted from Correa’s input and comradery this season. Miranda began the 2024 season in Triple-A but only spent a week there before a roster spot opened for him to return. Before returning to the Twins in April, Miranda shared how his relationship with Correa was a huge help to his outlook in Spring Training, regardless of whether he ended up in the majors or minors after it.

“The one advice that he told me is, ‘Take it day by day but trust the talent that I have, and obviously, you can trust the process,’” Miranda said during Saints Media Day on March 28. “Sometimes, things don’t go the way we want them to, but it’s part of it. This process, business, work altogether, and he just told me, ‘Go there [St. Paul] and put the work in, and you’ll get back here real soon.”

Miranda didn’t have the time to showcase the work Miranda put in this spring. Instead, he’s done so in the majors. After recovering from an injury-prone sophomore slump that plagued his 2023 season, Miranda has a .280/.320/.473 triple slash in 56 games this year. He has hit seven home runs, 24 RBI, and the game-winning bomb in the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader.

Miranda isn’t taking anything for granted, including his bond with Correa as a mentor and teammate. The echos of the positive influence the 29-year-old shortstop has on this Twins team is beginning to see the long-awaited results following Correa’s setbacks with plantar fasciitis last season.

After Sunday’s doubleheader, Correa is third in the American League in batting average at .308 behind only Juan Soto (.315) and fellow A.L. Central shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. (.327). The last week has also brought him within the top 10 in the A.L. in on-base percentage (.370, tied eighth), slugging percentage (.507, tied 9th), and OPS (.877, 7th).

Correa’s producing at an All-Star level again. Witt Jr. and Gunnar Henderson may win the popularity votes for the AL’s shortstop spots in the All-Star Game. However, his peak performance and influence on younger players certainly make a case for why Correa should be one of the Twins representatives in Arlington for this year’s MLB All-Star game.

On top of the All-Star game nomination talk, Correa’s hot streak has also closed the gap between them and the Cleveland Guardians and Kansas City Royals for first place in the AL Central. The Royals only sit a half-game above the Twins in second place, while the Guardians hold a five-and-a-half-game lead over them. The Guardians are 5-5 over their last 10 games, and this division is far from over in a clear winner, which should make for one of the more exciting and competitive summers for the divisional foes.

Many fans can keep hoping Correa will be the man to lead this Twins team back into another division crown. Now that he and the rest of the Twins lineup are all wearing López’s Prince jacket after every home run, people will continue to go crazy for Correa becoming ‘one of us.’

Twins
Are the Twins Stealing A Page Out Of San Diego’s Book?
By Chris Schad - Jul 15, 2024
Twins
How Much Should the Twins Value Their Depth At the Trade Deadline?
By Tom Schreier - Jul 13, 2024
Twins

Randy Dobnak Is On A Roll In Triple-A

Photo Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Randy Dobnak is on a roll right now. He’s made five consecutive starts allowing two or fewer runs with the St. Paul Saints dating back to June […]

Continue Reading