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ADP Cost Analysis - Carlos Correa vs Xander Bogaerts

It’s hard to believe that you can almost consider Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts to be veterans. Both of these players made their major league debuts at age 20, and they have already accomplished so much in the bigs. Now at their respective ages of 24 and 26, they are in the midst of their apparent prime years. In a top-heavy shortstop position, these players are getting selected at almost identical ADPs with Bogaerts at 48.8 and Correa at 49.5.

The age-old question remains: who should we be taking a shot on? They both bat in the heart of their orders and they both have stacked lineups around them, so it comes down to which skill set has a better value going into 2019. A look at each of their hitting abilities can't make these waters any murkier than what they already are.

RotoBaller is going to do some cost analysis breakdowns that you need to know before draft day. Be sure to also check out a few of our other positional ADP debates: catcher, first baseoutfield.

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From North To South Correa

After a strong rookie showing followed up by an appealing sophomore campaign, Correa has dealt with some health issues over the last two seasons. Playing in 109 games in 2017 he still managed to crush 24 home runs with 82 R, 84 RBI, and a .315 batting average. A torn ligament in his thumb derailed this season, and then the injury bug struck again in June of last season; this time it was lower back soreness. By the time Correa returned after over a month-long absence, he clearly wasn’t the same player we’ve been accustomed to seeing. Finishing the year with 15 HR, 60 R, 65 RBI, with 3 SB and a disappointing .239 AVG in 110 games, his final two months of the year weighed down his rebound season.

It was business as usual for the Astros shortstop in the first few months of 2018. Hitting to a .268 AVG, he also swatted 13 bombs in his first 73 games. Remaining as an above-average hard contact producer before his back injury, he felt the lingering effects over his final 37 games of the year. Only being able to maintain a 30.4% Hard Hit% in August, he followed that by an even weaker 21.3% rate in September. This number was among the bottom of the league and a far cry from his 36.5% Hard Hit% pre-injury, and 41.2% career mark. He could only muster up two home runs in these final two months as he limped to the season’s finish line.

Correa kept up his solid plate discipline numbers despite the nagging back. He followed a 0.48 BB/K in the first half by a 0.47 mark in the second half, which was only slightly below his career 0.53 BB/K. He was also on pace for a new career-high in line drive rate, but again the miserable second half put a damper on this as he hit more weak pop-ups than ever before with a 12.5% IFFB.

With a clean bill of health established for this season, it could be an excellent buy-low opportunity for the 6’4” Puerto Rican. His value has depreciated with these injury-riddled campaigns, but a triumphant comeback could be imminent. A return to his career .277 AVG and 162 game pace of 28 HR doesn’t seem out of the question with his young age and strong history of production when he’s healthy.


X Gon' Give It To Ya

While Correa was setting career-lows in 2018, Bogaerts was setting career-highs. With the welcome addition of J.D. Martinez to the lineup, the Red Sox shortstop hit a career-high 23 HR and 103 RBI. His .288 batting average was right in line with his career average, but he took a hit in the R and SB columns with just eight thefts and crossed the plate 72 times. After only clubbing 10 HR in 2017, what happened for Bogaerts to double this output?

Bogaerts set new highs across the board in batted-ball metrics. Compared to his 2017 season, he saw a jump in exit velocity by three MPH (up to 90.5 MPH), 4.5° jump in launch angle (12.7°), and over a 10% leap in Hard Hit% (41.5%). The most impressive ability he possessed was upping his Barrel% from 1.3% to 9.8%. Bogaerts wasn’t hitting cheap home runs either as he had more no-doubters (nine) than wall-scrapers recorded as just enough (seven).

With the increased pop in his bat, Bogaerts still kept a fantastic .288 AVG. Despite his .317 BABIP being off his .332 career rate, he managed to come in over his .284 career average. Paired with his newly found hard contact and ability to barrel up the baseball, he established new bests in plate discipline to aid his batting average. A five-year steady incline on his BB/K topped out last season at 0.54 BB/K, very similar to Correa’s career rate. The bigger the situation, the better Bogaerts batted, as he hit .277 with the bases empty, .303 with men on, and .342 with RISP. This clutch production was the main factor in his unpredictable 103 RBI season, but it's a tough pace to retain.

A category where Bogaerts lacked was his speed on the bases. After seasons of 10, 13, and 15 steals, his eight from last season might be the new norm going forward. He went from being in the league's top 80% to the top 70% in his age-25 season as he slowed down over half a foot/sec. His 80% success rate is terrific, but a return to another 15-steal season would be optimistic, especially if he wants to keep up his power stroke.


The Jury Is Out

So far in drafts, people are paying up for Bogaerts’ career year. Everything seemed to go right for the Aruba native in 2018, and it'll be difficult to replicate this performance in the 2019 season. As a whole, last year might be the ceiling for Bogaerts, but if we get a full healthy year from Correa, Bogaert’s best looks closer to Correa’s floor. Aside from a handful of steals, these two young stars have similar potential in AVG and R, with Correa having the advantage in HR and RBI.

The caveat regarding Correa is obviously the “if healthy” connotation. He’s undoubtedly more at risk, but he can return first or second round value with a full season, which Bogaerts cannot say the same. There’s just as much chance as Correa missing time than Bogaerts being able to repeat entirely, so why not roll the dice? Take the slightly younger player who still has his best year ahead of him instead of the player who has already shown us his optimal season.

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