Member those days when you and your buddies sat around your one buddy’s DJ equipment? You know, the buddy who claimed to be a DJ but really wasn’t any good at all and only played at other friends’ parties. Member how you used to sniff glue? Good times, indeed. Wait, what was I saying? Stupid huffing short-term memory killer. Oh, yeah, getting high. That was me with Elvis Andrus. I was a bit too high on Andrus last year. I mean, he hasn’t been bad this year. Just wasn’t quite as crazysexycool as I thought he might be. But you know what 2011 is? The year the Mayans cash in their savings bonds as they prepare for the collapse of all banks? No, random italicized voice, it’s a new year. It’s a new year when Andrus, who is still 21 years old, can get even better. Even better from a 2010 season that was nothing to sneeze at, unless you’re allergic to productive shortstops. So far this year, nice runs, no power, blech RBIs, good steals and a decent average. Or as I like to call it, better than anyone at shortstop not named Reyes, Hanley and Tulo. (Maybe Furcal, but you didn’t own Furcal all year. ACTUALLY, I DID OWN HIM ALL YEAR. No, you didn’t, Mister Mad Caps. DAMN, FOOL, YOU GOT ME. CAPS OUT.) So what can we expect of Elvis Andrus next year and why is he a 2011 fantasy baseball keeper?
Steals, doode. Massive amounts of steals. From 2009 to 2010, his OBP has gone from .329 to .357. His walk rate went from 7.4% to 10.3%. Even through his slumps, Washington has stuck with him in the leadoff spot. No reason that should change next year. If there’s one thing the Rangers can do (especially at home) is mollywhop. I.e. Andrus will have more runs than you after a visit to Taco Bell. The RBIs are nonexistent, but he’s a speedy leadoff hitter, what do you want? I could actually see him hit for some power next year. I don’t think 5 homers is completely out of the question. Now for his most valuable commodity. Next year at the ripe age of 22, he could tack 10 steals onto the 35 steal pace he has this year. 45 steals, 5 homers with a good OBP from a leadoff hitter in a good lineup? And you wonder why I’m so high on Andrus.