Correa earns third All-Star Game nod; Castro added as replacement

July 11th, 2024

MINNEAPOLIS -- Big contracts come with big expectations. And no one puts more pressure on to perform than the Twins shortstop himself.

He’s been rewarded for his first-half performance by being named to the American League All-Star team. It’s Correa’s third All-Star Game nod, but his first since 2021, his final year playing for the Astros.

“This is my home here in Minnesota now and to get my first All-Star Game here with this team, it’s truly special,” Correa said. “They gave me the contract and I want to go out there and play the best for my team, for the fans of this city and just help win ballgames.”

Correa is joined on the roster by , named to the team on Thursday as a replacement for Houston's Jose Altuve, who will miss the game with a sore left hand.

Castro has built on his 2023 breakout season, slashing .268/.354/.430 with seven homers, 29 RBIs and 10 steals in 93 games. He has put up a solid 2.7 WAR according to Baseball Reference.

It felt reasonable to be a bit skeptical when Correa and the Twins attributed the shortstop's career-worst 2023 season to lingering plantar fasciitis -- but it turns out that they were resoundingly right, considering how Correa's first half of 2024 has gone. Correa’s reward for returning to form was not a surprise to manager Rocco Baldelli.

“I mean, it's a pure All-Star first half that he's had,” Baldelli said. “He's been everything for us. He's led. He's produced. Him being an All-Star, the league nailed that one because he's been amazing.”

Correa attributed much of his success this year to the frustrations he felt last year.

“Sometimes you’ve got to get knocked down a little bit in order for you to clean up some things and work even more and get better. I feel like that’s what I did this offseason,” Correa said. “Obviously last year was somewhat frustrating on a lot of ends, but it made me hungrier going into the offseason. It made me a better person, it made me a better player. I’m glad to be recognized as an All-Star in 2024.”

Had Aaron Judge not ascended to another dimension in June, Correa would perhaps have received more attention for an extraordinary month that catapulted him into the All-Star discussion. Correa hit a cool .388/.441/.582 en route to being named to MLB's Team of the Month for June. Correa was hitting .259 with a .785 OPS at the end of May; his season line is now up to .305 with an .884 OPS.

It's often tough for those outside Minnesota (or Houston, for that matter) to truly appreciate the overall package that Correa brings. In addition to that resurgent offense that has given him a career-best 150 OPS+, the leadership in the clubhouse and the exceedingly consistent defense, in which he excels down to the small details of making tags and positioning himself for throws put him in line for another All-Star selection.

Every All-Star Game is special, but Correa acknowledged this one is going to be a little different for him.

“It’s the first time that I will go as a father,” he said. “I will have my two boys there with me. I’ve always seen it on TV when players go with their kids and I feel like that’s the coolest thing ever, and this one will be extra special. I told my wife before the season that I really wanted to make it so I could take the boys and hang out with them and for them to meet some of their favorite players.”