Every so often from now until April 1st I want to take a look at some of the Texas Rangers and discuss what they actually bring to the table. My first post will be about Elvis and everything he brings to the Texas Rangers Organization.
Let’s start with his defensive prowess. The Kid is pretty amazing when it comes to flashing leather. He did have 25 errors out of 407 attempts, but that isn’t to bad considering Derek Jeter(probably a bad example) had 12 errors out of 260 attempts. His UZR of 7 is extremely high compared to Asdrubal Cabrera(-11.8) and Starlin Castro(-8.7) so it’s pretty easy to see how many runs are saved because of his defense alone.
What he does at the plate is a bit of a different story. He had a triple slash line of .279/.340/.343, which does need some work. His OBP should be closer to .400 and he also needs to be hitting more than 27 doubles with his speed. I don’t think I would be to crazy to project a line of something like .285/.380/.412 but that would still be a bit of a reach. I think he is a decent number 8 or 9 hitter with excellent speed. Luckily, the Rangers have so many good pieces in their lineup that can make up for his minor shortcomings.
Now, we get to my favorite, his base running ability. I think this is where Elvis can truly swing a game towards the Rangers direction. He had 37 steals out of 49 attempts which isn’t bad but isn’t great either. With him I don’t think that the number of steals is as important as is the threat of a steal. Whenever he gets on-base the entire game seems to slow down, pitchers have more on their mind other than the batter at the plate, which leads to defensive mistakes and bad pitches. This is hard to describe because it cant be measured in numbers, but how many home runs has Josh Hamilton or Adrian Beltre hit that were thrown by distracted pitchers. Or how many ground balls got through an infield that were extremely worried about getting the ball to 2nd base quickly in order to start a double play. Now, Stolen bases aren’t always going to lead to runs but his 37 steals did lead to roughly 4 runs, which helps. His mind game, on the other hand, probably led to many more.
We all know Elvis is good, cheap, young, and is definitely a good shortstop, but do you see him becoming a superstar? Should the Rangers think about pursuing other options? Maybe Jurickson Profar takes over in the near future? So many questions, not enough baseball, until next time, Go Rangers.