One of the biggest surprises from the 2017 season was the sudden power surge from veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus. Will he be able to continue to produce similar numbers in 2018 or was it just a fluke?
Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was considered a speedy contact hitter until the 2017 season. In 2016, Andrus finished with eight home runs which was his career high through eight Major League seasons.
That quickly changed in 2017, when Andrus crushed 20 home runs and knocked in 88 RBIs, both career highs for him. The 29-year-old shortstop finished with a .297 average and 25 stolen bases to go along with it.
Andrus set multiple career highs in 2017, but somehow was snubbed out of an All-Star appearance. He was well deserving, but just did not receive enough votes. The bigger question remains, will Andrus bring back the power in 2018?
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He’s never hit more than eight home runs in a single season besides 2017. Could Andrus pull a Jacoby Ellsbury from 2011? Both are speedy contact hitters that had one huge power season.
In 2011, Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury hit .321 with 32 home runs and 105 RBIs. Heading into 2011 Ellsbury had never hit more than nine homers in a single season. Since then, Ellsbury has failed to reach more than 16 bombs in one season.
It’s unclear how Ellsbury was able to put up 32 bombs in one season. Then follow it up by hitting just four home runs the next year. His stats have dropped every season since 2011, but injuries have been a significant reason for that.
Time will tell whether or not Andrus will be able to reach the 20 home run mark again in his career. It’s unlikely, but if he’s able to stay healthy and continue to hit like he has the last two seasons, then anything is possible.