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A Message On Elvis Andrus

From Joey Matschulat.

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From 2009-present, Andrus has hit a respectable .270/.336/.336 while grading out across both of the mainstream defensive statistics of the day as one of the five best defensive shortstops in the game (+25 DRS; +15.1 UZR), the best overall baserunner in all of baseball (+18.1 BSR), and one of the 7-8 most valuable shortstops in the game, period ... and he's pulled it all off during his age-20 to -22 seasons. He doesn't turn 23 years old for another three weeks. Look, I get that we want and expect more, that we want Andrus to shore up the remaining deficiencies in his game (at this point, more power and fewer errors) while still retaining his current value-generating properties, and that we want him to be more than just a good to very good shortstop -- but doesn't there come a point where, cliched as it sounds, you just have to love him for who he is in the present?

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I'm in 100% agreement with all of this. If Elvis could cut down on his errors, he wouldn't just be good in the field, he'd be phenominal. If Elvis could hit for some power, he wouldn't just be a good shortstop, he'd be one of the best players in baseball.

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But for right now, while there could be more, what we've got is a guy having an All-Star-caliber season in his third year at an age when most guys are just coming up, and has never even been worse than average in that time. Players this good this young tend to do things like go to the Hall of Fame, but even if Andrus peaks young, the product the Rangers have gotten already should make us happy.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.