Carlos Correa headed to first All-Star Game with Twins: 'It's special'

Before the Minnesota Twins closed out a six-game home stand with a walk-off win over the Houston Astros on Sunday at Target Field, the team gathered in the clubhouse for a brief celebration.

There was a nice bottle of champagne ready for shortstop Carlos Correa. He would find out he was headed to his third Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and first with the Twins. He got handshakes and hugs, then the Twins beat the Astros on a walk-off home run from Christian Vazquez.

Correa is one of the main reasons the Twins are 51-39, six games back of Cleveland in the AL Central but in a solid position in the Wild Card. He’s in the second year of a six-year, $200 million contract and has lived up to in the first half this season.

"It’s special because this is my home here in Minnesota now. To get my first All-Star Game with this team is truly special. They gave me the contract and I want to go out there and play the best I can for my team, for the fans of this city and just help win ball games," Correa said Sunday. "I feel like this first half has been really good for me."

He has. Correa is hitting .305 in 71 games with 11 homers, 16 doubles, two triples and 45 RBI, which is second on the team. In the infield, he’s as steady as they come at shortstop.

"Correa? It’s a pure All-Star first half that he’s had. He’s been everything for us, he’s led, he’s produced. The offensive side, every at bat you don’t know what’s going to happen. He could do anything. He makes all the plays at shortstop, keeps everything calm, he knows what’s going on at every moment of every game," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "I could not be happier to give him a hug and celebrate him. Him being an All-Star, the league nailed that one."

There was concern after Sunday’s game Correa hurt his hand after being hit by a pitch. He left the game, but imaging showed no fracture. It’s the second scare he’s had in a week. He said he’ll be in the lineup Monday night at the Chicago White Sox.

He says his first All-Star Gamew with the Twins will be extra special. He battled a foot injury most of last season, and it’s his first mid-summer classic as a Dad.

"This time will be extra special because it’ll be the first time I go as a father. I’ll have my two boys there with me. I always see it on TV when players go with their kids, and I feel like that’s the coolest thing ever," Correa said.