Remember when people thought Elvis Andrus career was going to spiral out of control after the 2015 ALDS? I do. Mainly because I was worried about the direction his career was heading.
Andrus posted a 1.3 WAR in 2014 and a 1.7 WAR in 2015 after signing a huge eight-year extension during the 2013 season. Both the lowest of his career. Many people began questioning John Daniel’s decision to extend Andrus until the 2022 season.
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Andrus answered the criticism with a strong 2016. Before 2016 Andrus posted a positive offensive rating only once. Even then, his 2.1 rating in 2011 was still below average. He blew that 2.1 rating out of the water in 2016, posting a 9.9 rating.
His 112 wRC+ marked the first time in his career he posted a wRC+ over 100. We saw a surge of power from Andrus. The same guy who went 800+ plate appearances without a home run from 2009-2011.
Elvis set career high’s in both home runs and RBI with eight and 69 respectively. His .136 ISO rating was the first time since his 2009 rookie season where he posted over a .100 ISO. Is it irresponsible to expect Elvis to hit 20 home runs in 2017? Yes, but the elusive 10 home run mark is certainly a possibility.
Despite his career year at the plate, 2016 was Andrus worst year defensively. His -8.1 defensive rating marked the first time in his career he posted a negative defensive rating. Only four years removed from posting a 10.1 defensive rating, it’s possible 2016 was an anomaly.
Will Andrus continue to provide unexpected offense while rediscovering his Gold Glove caliber defense? With all the shortstop talent in the AL West, the Rangers need him to.