Elvis Andrus Looking Poised to Breakout (Again) in 2015


It’s not often a six year veteran making $15M per season can be considered a candidate to “breakout”, but Elvis Andrus may be the exception. Once, the Rangers’ prized prospect and young MLB budding superstar, Elvis Andrus seemed destined to be the next great shortstop. Many even thought he was somehow destined for New York to be Derek Jeter’s replacement.

In a forward-thinking move, the Rangers signed Elvis to a 8 yr/ $1200M extension, two years before his looming free agency. What seemed like a good move at the time quickly became questionable as Andrus’ trajectory halted at a pedestrian plateau.

In 2014 Andrus took a clear step back. After a an offseason that consisted of what appeared to be a series of all-you-can-eat buffets, Elvis Andrus appeared in spring training clearly out of shape and overweight. His batting average fell to .263, his runs to 72, RBI to 41, and his stolen bases to 27 ( thrown out 36% of the time), all ending in a WAR of 1.

"Hardly the numbers expected of a team leader, cornerstone asset, and $15M per season player."

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2015 marks the beginning of the new contract. Now officially earning twice as much per season, as last season, Elvis Andrus’ expectations have been raised. Showing up in spring training noticeably in shape was a start, but his attitude and performance on the field is what’s shining through.

"“This year I took it a thousand times [more] seriously than I did the year before,” Andrus said. “It’s part of the growing part, knowing yourself, knowing your body a little bit more every year…My mentality is a whole lot different than last year. I’m a totally different animal this year.”"

Offensively, Elvis Andrus should see a much better steal total as well as success percentage. The added weight of last season clearly slowed him. He may never be a .300 batter but he can certainly improve on his career .271. Defensively Andrus is already showing and improved range as well.

"“When I see Elvis, his skill set defensively, I think he has a chance to be a Gold Glove, Rangers manager Banister said. “That’s the skill set. How he stays focused all year long and the determination to be that type of player, part of my job is to help him continue and push and help him want that for himself, help motivate him when it’s tough.”"

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Elvis Andrus has already showing some of that “Gold Glove” skill in spring training. If he can avoid the nagging injuries that plagued him last year, he has a shot at getting such a lofty achievement. A 26 year old 2x All-Star may not look like the prototypical “breakout” player, but considering much of his praise (and pay) was on potential – potential that has yet to be fully realized – Andrus could be one of many “Breakout” players for the Rangers this season.

Next: Rangers Luck They Stayed With Andrus

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