Friday, February 17, 2012
Fantasy: Will Elvis Andrus develop power?
By Richard Durrett
ESPN.com's Eric Karabell took a look at three key questions when it comes to some Rangers players. To read them all, you'll have to click here (insider). But one of the questions deals with Elvis Andrus and whether he can develop some power. Here's what Karabell said:
Part of my draft strategy is to avoid powerless base stealers in the early rounds, regardless of position scarcity. I love Michael Bourn, and his impact on stolen bases is clear, but I'll almost always choose someone likely to reach 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases, a Shin-Soo Choo type, if you will. At shortstop, Elvis Andrus is a bit like this, although he did hit five home runs. In 2010, he didn't hit any. Andrus is only 23 and still a very good fantasy option, as he has swiped 32 or more bases in all three of his seasons, has a career .271 batting average and, thanks to his powerful pals in the lineup, scored 96 runs last season. Andrus finished fifth on the Player Rater among shortstops in 2011. All that said, I'd choose Chicago Cubs youngster Starlin Castro earlier. There's immediate power potential brewing with him.
Despite my ranking of him, I'd probably bypass Andrus in Rounds 6 and 7, unless I had simply ignored stolen bases, to wait a few rounds on a balanced Alexei Ramirez and a few more rounds on Stephen Drew, whom I'm not giving up on. Look, you've got to draft power, as there just isn't enough of it. You can find potential 30-steal guys undrafted. Ramirez and Drew don't run nearly as much as Andrus, but 10-12 steals will still help. Andrus is improving; he hit 27 doubles, after posting 32 his first two seasons. His walk rate is solid, and he cut down on the strikeouts. But he still slugged only .361 last season.