23. Hector Correa -RHP - 6'3 - 165lbs
(last year: 15)
Taken in the 4th round of the 2006 amateur draft, Hector Correa was signed for $252,000. Starting off his career with the Gulf Coast League Marlins, he did not disappoint. Armed with a 91-93mph fastball and a big looping curveball, Correa made quick work of those hitters, allowing just a .244 batting average against. Obviously his secondary pitches need alot of work, and scouts believe when Hector fills out, he should throw in the mid to high 90s. It has been suggested that he scrap the curve for a slider, but at this point he is still going with his curveball.
Hector actually started off in Greensboro in 2007 but he was completely overmatched. In 8 starts he got absolutely destroyed, to a tune of a 1-5 record, with a 9.29era and a .401 batting average against. He also allowed 55 hits, with 7 of those leaving the park in those 31 innings. Correa was demoted to Jamestown and he got his confidence back. He struck out 83 in his final 58.2 innings of work, while walking just 13. All of his numbers improved after the demotion, and lefties were hitting just .216 off of him. Correa has a clean repeatable delivery, a loose arm, and a tall, lean frame that still has some projection to it because of his age. His fastball could be dynamic but he must improve his command. He has been known to pitch backwards at time, where he starts off hitters with his slider and changeup, as opposed to his fastball. He’ll benefit from challenging hitters early in the count.
The 2008 season was another step in the wrong direction. Correa battled injuries much of the year, and got hit hard in his 5 outings between the Gulf Coast League and Greensboro. The 6′3 right hander out of Puerto Rico will be continue to be moved slowly through the system as long as these injuries keep hounding him. He’s shown enough potential to where the Marlins believe they have something special on their hands if he can stay healthy enough to get some innings under his belt. He’ll more than likely open up in Greensboro yet again.