​Surveying his place in the free-agent marketplace toward the end of last season, Carlos Correa found a metaphor that ​​fit him.

“I go to the Dior store. When I want something, I get it,” Correa told reporters in Minnesota. “I’m the product here. If they want my product, they’ve just got to come get it.”

The designer shortstop will set the Giants back $350 million over the next 13 years, the fourth-largest contract in baseball history. Correa, 28, will be introduced Tuesday at Oracle Park, the Giants’ first celebratory news conference to parade a new hire since Gabe Kapler and arguably their biggest offseason addition since Barry Bonds.

In many ways, Correa and the Giants’ analytically driven front office made a perfect match.

Correa’s traditional stats don’t pop off the page in the same way as Aaron Judge, the free- agent slugger who spurned the Giants to return to the New York Yankees. The Dior-infused statement spoke not only to Correa’s supreme confidence, but also to the savvy for which he has come to be known, regarding both the game’s decisions and the analytics that drive them.

“He’s a student of the game,” Geoff Blum, who became a Houston Astros broadcaster after a 14-year playing career, said last week in an interview with KNBR.

Correa’s baseball journey — the path that one day would lead to immense generational wealth — began in an alleyway adjacent to the modest house his father, Carlos Sr., built in their hometown of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Father and son played catch there, not far from the homes of former major leaguers Sandy Alomar and Javier Vazquez, nearly every day. By the time Correa was 17, a few months before the Astros made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2012, his throw from shortstop was clocked at 97 mph.

Correa agreed to sign for millions below the slot value for the first pick, just to ensure that the Astros would take him No. 1. In doing so, he became the first Puerto Rican ever drafted first overall. He quickly rose through the minors, reached the majors at age 20, and was the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year.

It was a game against Texas, and its aftermath, that struck Blum as special.

In the game, Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis tried to attack a weakness of Correa’s at the time, the inside fastball. Correa turned on the pitch and lined a home run down the left field line, one of 10 homers in his first 45 games, a rookie record for a shortstop.


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