Elvis Andrus: An Early 2010 Projection

I’ve already given my early projections on Alcides Escobar (click here to view) and Everth Cabrera (click here to view), so let’s finish off the trifecta of young shortstops by looking at Elvis Andrus.

Of the three, Andrus was the most impressive in 2009, mostly as a 20-year old (he turned 21 in late August), posting the following line:

480 At Bats
.267 Batting Average (128 Hits)
6 Home Runs
40 RBI
72 Runs
33 Stolen Bases
.329 On Base Percentage
.373 Slugging Percentage
.307 Batting Average on Balls in Play

He spent the majority of his time hitting ninth, which certainly hurt his potential a bit.  However, when he was given the chance to hit second (130 at bats), he really shined, hitting .277 with 21 R and 12 SB.  Extrapolate those numbers over a full season and your talking about a shortstop who scores 90 runs and steals 40 bases.

Just how many others reached those levels in 2009?  There were only seven shortstops who scored at least 90 runs and none of them reached the 40 SB plateau.  Jimmy Rollins stole 31, leading the way of those players, though he has the potential to reach the 40 SB plateau, as does a healthy Jose Reyes.  Outside of those two, Andrus brings a skill set to the table that not many others at the position have the potential to each.

The real question is if he will get a chance to spend the majority of 2010 in the number two whole.  It’s early and there are still a lot of moves to be made, but I have to believe that he will at this point.  Without Marlon Byrd, they will need to reshuffle things, including using both Ian Kinsler and Michael Young in the middle of the order (unless the Mike Lowell trade is finalized).  That leaves Julio Borbon and Andrus to set the table.

That certainly gives him the potential to score a lot of runs and steal more bases.  While simply using his number while hitting second isn’t perfect, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise either if he reached those levels.

You have to like the potential for his average to increase.  While his BABIP was solid, he certainly has the speed to maintain a better mark than he did in 2009.

He showed a solid eye at the plate, striking out just 16.0% of the time.  At his age, being that disciplined is definitely a promising sign and could mean some very good things from him.  With his speed, if he can continue to make consistent contact, he’ll have the potential to hit .300 consistently.  It likely won’t happen in 2010, but the potential is there.

The power isn’t there yet and I wouldn’t expect him to develop it so quickly either.  He had a flyball rate of just 23% in 2009 and that type of number makes it impossible to be a big-time threat.  As he ages and gains strength it’s possible he gets there, but if he hits more than 10 in 2010 it’ll be a surprise.

With all that said, let’s take a look at what I’d expect from Andrus in 2010:

.286 (153-535), 9 HR, 45 RBI, 90 R, 37 SB, .335 BABIP, .352 OBP, .407 SLG

Those are certainly numbers that any owner would be happy with, right?  As I said, what the Rangers do moving forward will give us a little bit of a better idea how their lineup will be built.  If things change and Andrus once again finds himself hitting towards the bottom of the order (like probably would happen with the acquisition of Lowell), the runs scored in particular will drop.  Time will tell on that.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think Andrus could live up to these projections?  Will he be better or worse?

Make sure to check out some more of our early 2010 projections, including:

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

3 comments

  1. Milby says:

    Hi Eric,

    I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your posts. I look forward to them every day and wanted you to know as much. Keep up the good work!

  2. Erade says:

    I do not think that Andrus will bat at the top of the lineup regulary next year. With Hamilton, Vlad, and Cruz, they should have good pop and RBI potential in the middle. David Murphy, if starting could bat sixth or seventh as well, allowing Kinsler and Young to stay at the top of the lineup. They would be crazy to move Kinsler down. He is a huge spark plug at the top, although he does slump, but so will andrus.

    If they do need to move Young down, I believe they like bourbon more at the top then andrus right now. He did better at the MLB level last year, and has done better in the minors and has the pedigree.

    He could post 90 runs from the bottom with that lineup, and with Kinsler and Young hitting behind him. As far as how he will hit, I am really not sure since he is so young.

  3. baseballmuse says:

    In fact, everything we are reading right now would indicate Andrus will bat ninth.
    Michael Young will most likely bat 2nd with Josh Hamilton 3rd, Vladimir Guerrero 4th and Ian Kinsler 5th.
    As long as the Rangers are committed to Julio Borbon leading off, there will not be much room at the top of the order for Andrus.

    Having said that, I think having Andrus hit second (or if he continues to develop patience he could lead off) would be a great idea especially against left handed pitching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>