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Carlos Correa’s Leadership Aura Can Transcend Twins To New Heights

FORT MYERS, Fl. — Certain qualities within a person radiate effortlessly, and their aura projects further and stronger than those around them. That resonates with born-leader and the newly acquired Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa.

A proven leader on and off the field, Correa has taken his All-Star talents to the Twin Cities, where he will join Miguel Sanó, Jorge Polanco, and new additions Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela. The star shortstop brings aspirations of having a successful tenure on a team that longs for a World Series championship for the first time since 1991.

As a three-year $105.3 million contract was agreed upon on March 19, 2022, Correa now tucks himself into a roster that feeds off explosive energy and the presence of an experienced leader. Correa began his career with the Houston Astros in 2015. From his major league debut on June 8, 2015, to the last pitch of Game 6 of the 2021 World Series, Correa has strummed the part of a leader, so few have the natural persona to tame.

“He’s a really good teammate, an excellent teammate. He sets a really good example, gives us some really good advice. He really worries about everybody on the team and about the game. So anytime things aren’t going perfectly, he’s always there with good advice … he’s been a very great example.”

Those are the words that former Astros teammate Framber Valdez uttered during the 2021 World Series. What’s more palpable than the words of a teammate, the words of a comrade in the middle of a championship chase? It reflects the type of teammate Correa is within a major league clubhouse, and it’s precisely what the Minnesota Twins need.

A leader. A “clubhouse guy” with the ability to implode offensively and defensively under the intense lights of a Major League Baseball field. From the southern shores of Puerto Rico to the land of 10,000 lakes, Correa vows to find a way to make those around him the best players and people they can be.

“I want to get to know my teammates,” Correa emphasized in his introductory press conference on March 23. “I want to get to know their background, where they’re coming from. I already know the player they are. I know the potential and the talent that’s in there. I want to get to know them as a person. I want to know what they want to achieve this year. If I can help them in any way, with some information to get better, at the end of the day it’s great for the team. It’s going to give us a big chance to go out there and win the division.”

When it was all official, when the agreement was made, and the contract was forged, shock trembled across the baseball world. The unexpected signing would challenge the way high-market players view small-market teams. Every team across baseball holds a slew of talent. Amongst other things, the 99-day lockout scrutinized how non-contending teams utilized talented players. Acquiring a multi-facet leader — who controls every moment with high intensity but simultaneously slows down each breathing moment — the Twins may have found a way to plug in a vital variable into the equation that translates to success.  

On Thursday, March 24, Correa — who will don No. 4 — took on his first round of Spring Training duties by flashing smiles with new teammates and co-existing within a Twins roster that has proved to hold ferocious power. (Return of the Bomba Squad?). After fielding ground balls and taking hacks against right-handed pitcher Jorge Alcala within the batter’s box of Field 4 at the Lee County Complex in Fort Meyers, Correa took the time to bring smiles to the faces of fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures with all those who sought to get a glimpse of the Twins’ high-profile signing. 

As the 27-year-old Puerto Rican from Ponce rises to new heights with a new organization, the pressure to produce exceptionally will bare heavily for the two-time All-Star. Correa, who has managed to sum up a career 7.2 WAR, finished the 2021 season with a .279 average, 26 home runs, 92 RBI, .850 OPS in 148 games with the Houston Astros. With significant depth added to the Twins infield and roster, the team that placed last in the American League Central (73-89 in 2021 record, 20 games behind the division champs, Chicago White Sox) will challenge an ever-evolving division, with the burning desire to return to the postseason. 

“We talked about winning,” Correa said of his discussion with the two-time World Series championship organization when agreeing to terms. “That’s what we want to build here. We want to build a championship culture. We want to move forward, win divisions, win championships. That’s my goal here. Make everyone around us better. Move forward with a championship mentality.” 

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