Most fantasy owners were expecting Elvis Andrus to erupt in 2010, entrenching himself as one of the elite shortstops in the game. For a long-time it looked like that would be the case, hitting .300 up until June 12. Things have taken a turn since then.
July was an awful month, hitting .216 with 0 HR, 3 RBI, 9 R and 4 SB. You know you’re not going to get a ton of HR or RBI, but the other numbers are problematic. He’s hitting leadoff for the high-powered Rangers offense and he scored just nine times
Before we get into the good and the bad, first let’s look at his overall numbers:
399 At Bats
.273 Batting Average (109 Hits)
0 Home Runs
27 Stolen Bases
.360 On Base Percentage
.313 Slugging Percentage
.330 Batting Average on Balls in Play
He has done a good job at the plate, with a 17.3% strikeout rate and 10.9% walk rate. The walks are up from both last season (7.4%) and his minor league career (8.6%). At 21-years old (he turns 22 at the end of August), it’s a great sign to see him continue his maturation at the plate.
Now, you hope it can continue in other aspects of his game, specifically his ability on the base paths. While the 27 stolen bases are nice, he has been caught 12 times, tied for third most in the league. Clearly, that will cause a manager to tighten the reigns on him a bit, giving him fewer opportunities.
Gaining efficiency would go a long way.
As for the falloff in average, slumps are going to happen. A lot of it was poor luck, posting a BABIP of .256 in July. You can argue that his overall luck is about on par, and to be honest, it is. Still, with his ability to put the ball in play, you would expect good things to happen. Sooner or later the luck will turn back the other way, in turn raising the average back towards .300.
With a better average will come more runs scored as well. In that Rangers lineup, all you have to do is get on base in the leadoff spot and you should score runs by the bushel full.
The power has been nonexistent this season. It’s not just a lack of home run power, as he has just 12 doubles and two triples. He is still young and is still growing, so in time I still think he’ll develop the ability to hit around 10 HR.
He has a solid line drive rate of 21.1%, which is in the Top 30 in the league. The extra base hits will come. Obviously, his 59.1% groundball rate isn’t conducive to home runs, but with his speed you can’t be too upset right now. Let him use the wheels and beat it out time and time again.
The power isn’t going to be this year, but in years to come. The other numbers should bounce back sooner rather then later. While the numbers may not be quite what you had envisioned, by year’s end he will be entrenched as one of the top shortstops on draft day 2011, thanks to his average, stolen bases and runs scored. Don’t give up due to a cold streak, because a corresponding hot streak is coming.
What are your thoughts on Andrus? Will he be an elite shortstop? Why or why not?
Make sure to check out our extremely early 2011 rankings:
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