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Elvis Andrus

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Elvis Andrus-3539.jpg

Elvis Augusto Andrus Torres

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 185 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Elvis Andrus is the Texas Rangers starting shortstop. He is the brother of Erold Andrus.

Andrus was signed by scout Rolando Petit for the Atlanta Braves at age 16. He debuted professionally in 2005, hitting .295/.377/.398 for the GCL Braves and going 5 for 18 with 4 walks and a double for the Danville Braves. He led Gulf Coast League shortstops with 63 putouts. Baseball America rated him as the #4 prospect in the GCL behind Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce and Chris Volstad and as the #2 Braves prospect.

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In 2006, Elvis hit .265/.324/.362 with 23 steals in 38 tries for the Rome Braves as a teenager in a full-season league. He led South Atlantic League shortstops with 208 putouts. Baseball America again ranked him as his league's 4th-best prospect. He was named to the SAL All-Star team as a utility infielder.

Andrus only batted .244/.330/.335 for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in 2007, though he stole 25 bases in 32 tries. He still was chosen for the 2007 Futures Game. Pinch-hitting for Chin-Lung Hu in the 5th, Andrus grounded out against Luke Hochevar. He stayed in to play shortstop. In the 7th inning, Andrus struck out versus Clay Buchholz. Later that year, he was dealt with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Beau Jones, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay. Going to the Bakersfield Blaze, Andrus hit .300/.373/.369 and stole 15 bases in 23 attempts in 27 games.

Assigned to the Grand Canyon Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, Andrus batted .353/.411/.471.

Andrus played for the World team in the 2008 Futures Game. This time, he started at shortstop and hit second. In the first inning, he hit a potential double-play grounder but was able to reach thanks to an error by US shortstop Jason Donald. Elvis stole third and came home on a Pablo Sandoval grounder for the winning run in a 3-0 victory. He walked against Brett Anderson in the third but was picked off. Ramiro Pena replaced him at short.

During the 2008 campaign, Andrus hit .295/.350/.367 for the Frisco RoughRiders with 54 steals in 70 tries and 82 runs. He led Texas farmhands in steals and was five swipes behind Texas League leader Corey Wimberly. Andrus led the TL's shortstops in putouts (181), assists (361), errors (32) and double plays (79). Baseball America rated him as being the best defensive shortstop and having the best infield arm in the Texas League. He was named the league All-Star SS. The publication also rated him as the #5 prospect in the TL behind only Dexter Fowler, Chris Davis, Kyle Blanks and Vin Mazzaro.

In 2009, Elvis Andrus won the job as the Rangers' starting shortstop in spring training. There was some controversy attached to the decision by manager Ron Washington, as it meant moving Michael Young, who had won the 2008 Gold Glove Award to third base. He went 1 for 4 with a double and a run scored on opening day against the Cleveland Indians. he had a decent first season in the majors, playing excellent defense at shortstop and hitting .267/.329/.373 in 145 games, with 33 stolen bases in 39 tries. He was the second-youngest player in the 2009 AL behind only Rick Porcello. He tied Alberto Callaspo, Willie Bloomquist, Curtis Granderson and Carl Crawford for 5th in the league with 8 triples and was 6th in steals. He finished second in voting for the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year Award, losing out to Andrew Bailey in a fairly close race. He hit only .247/.287/.321 in winter ball for the Navegantes del Magallanes.

In 2010 Andrus maintained his batting average and improved his on-base percentage from .329 to .342 over his rookie year, but his power went down significantly. In 588 at-bats, he hit only 18 extra-base hits (15 doubles and 3 triples to slug .301), losing 5 triples and 6 homers over the previous year, in many more plate appearances. However, he continued to play excellent defense and scored 88 runs, and the Rangers not only won their first-ever postseason series, but made it all the way to the World Series. Andrus hit .333 in each of the first two rounds of the postseason, although his bat was stymied by the San Francisco Giants pitchers in the Series, like most of his teammates. He also appeared in the 2010 All-Star Game, pinch-running for Derek Jeter in the 6th and replacing him at short in a 3-1 loss. He was caught stealing by Brian McCann then grounded out later against Brian Wilson. For the 2010 AL season, he was tied for 9th in the league with 32 steals (even with Coco Crisp), tied Chone Figgins for the most sacrifice hits (17), tied Figgins for second in times caught stealing (15, 2 behind Juan Pierre) and was 3rd or 4th in putouts at SS, assists at SS and fielding percentage at SS (.976).

He ended his 705 at-bat home run drought in the fourth game of the 2011 season, going deep against Erik Bedard of the Seattle Mariners on April 4th. He hit .279/.347/.361 in 150 games that season, collecting 164 hits, including 27 doubles and 5 homers. He scored 96 runs and stole 37 bases in 49 tries. He was 5th in the 2011 AL in steals (between Jacoby Ellsbury and B.J. Upton), third in sacrifice hits (16), tied for fourth in times caught stealing (even with Upton), second in putouts at SS (245, behind Alcides Escobar), 3rd in assists at short (407), first in errors at short (25, second to Mark Reynolds among AL players regardless of position) and tied for first in double plays by a shortstop (102, even with Erick Aybar). The Rangers returned to the World Series that year, with Andrus starting each of their 17 postseason games at shortstop. He went 6 for 25 with 4 runs scored as they defeated the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS, and then 8 for 29 (.276) with 5 runs in a crushing seven-game loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the Fall Classic.

In 2012, Andrus played 158 games as the Rangers' starting shortstop, being selected to the All-Star Game for the second time. In the All-Star Game, he replaced Miguel Cabrera at 3B in the 9th inning and had one assist. In his trip to the plate, he hit into a force against Wade Miley. He hit .286/.349/.378 with 85 runs scored, banging out 180 hits, 31 doubles and 9 triples, all of these being personal bests. However, in the last weeks of the season, the Rangers brought up the team's top prospect, Jurickson Profar, another shortstop, who impressed with his bat at a very young age, although Andrus continued to be the starter. Meanwhile, the Rangers, who had led the AL West race for most of the season, lost out to the Oakland A's on the season's last day and were forced to play the first American League Wild Card Game against the Baltimore Orioles as a result. Andrus did his part in the game, going 2 for 4, but Texas lost the game, 5-1, and made an early exit from the postseason. For the season, he was among the league leaders in triples (2nd, one behind Austin Jackson), times gunned down running (3rd, 10), sacrifice hits (1st, 17), putouts at SS (4th, 233), assists at SS (4th, 414) and errors at SS (3rd, 16, behind Escobar and Asdrubal Cabrera). Playing winter ball for the first time in three years, he batted .234/.342/.344 for Magallanes and had nearly a .500 OBP in the postseason as the team won it all. He did not accompany them to the 2013 Caribbean Series, though.

There were plenty of trade rumors involving both Andrus and Profar in the off-season, but when spring training opened in 2013, both were still with the Rangers. On February 28th, Andrus added his name to the list of baseball's most unusual injuries, having to bow out of a Cactus League game with "sensitivity and muscle soreness" in his left shoulder. He had just gotten a tattoo, running from the top of the shoulder to the biceps, commemorating his late father. A few days later, he joined the Venezuelan national team for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. The Rangers ended all speculation about his future with the team on April 4th when they signed him to an eight-year contract extension worth $120 million through 2022, with an option for an additional year. In the meantime, Profar had been sent down to AAA to complete his minor league apprenticeship, leaving Andrus in his familiar position as the starter at shortstop on Opening Day. On May 18th, Andrus made a bid for a cycle in leading the Rangers to a 7-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. He had four hits in his first four at-bats that day, scoring three runs, driving in two and stealing a base, then came up again in the 8th needing a home run for a cycle. He swung hard on the first three pitches but wasn't able to drive a pitch out, then notched a third single to finish with a 5-for-5 day at the plate.

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