Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers had a poor 2014 season, which means he suffered a similar fate as almost all of his teammates except for Adrian Beltre. The Rangers were an absolute disaster this season as the team was virtually devoid of offense and the pitching was not much better. Even Yu Darvish had a slightly down year, but he was still excellent. Injuries ran so rampant on the Rangers that they used 15 different starting pitchers this season.
While I believe (and hope) Andrus and the Rangers have bottomed out in 2014, a rebound year from Elvis Andrus does not even make me want to own him on my fantasy team. Elvis Andrus is a poor man’s Jose Reyes in terms of fantasy baseball.
I am just not a fan of drafting players for their speed. Steals can generally be acquired in free agency, but power cannot. I want to load my team up with sluggers because they can provide value in more categories than speedsters. With players such as Andrus, their production in HR, RBI, and sometimes AVG is just terrible. If you play in an OPS league or a league that has more categories and generally rewards extra bases, then Andrus is an even worse buy.
Sure, Elvis Andrus is a good base runner, but his 2014 OBP of .314 is not conducive to a high steal total unless you have Billy Hamilton’s speed. Andrus is certainly quick and has stolen at least 21 bases in each of his six MLB seasons, but his stolen bases are not that impossible to find in free agency. Jarrod Dyson stole 36 bags, Eric Young Jr. stole 30, and James Jones stole 27. These three could be found on your local waiver wire for the majority of the season.
In fact, one player is considered one of the worst starting players in the game, but his numbers are not that far off from Elvis Andrus as you can see in this table:
[table id=1293 /]
Player X is none other than B.J. Upton of the Atlanta Braves who is known for his lack of hitting on a dreadful five year, $75 million contract. Andrus has a solid advantage in batting average, while B.J. has 10 more homers. Andrus has a small advantage in the other four categories listed, and he is a slightly superior fantasy option if you look at those numbers even without considering their positions.
Sure, Upton plays outfield where solid fantasy options are a dime a dozen while Elvis Andrus is at the fantasy scarce position of shortstop. However, the fact that Andrus and BJ have counting stats that are virtually a wash in 2014 tells you all you need to know about Elvis Andrus in fantasy baseball. He is just not a good fantasy option.
The point is that Elvis Andrus puts up numbers that are barely worth owning, yet he will be drafted once again at a price too high for my liking. I can honestly say that I would not draft Elvis Andrus in the first 200 picks. His poor 2014 season will result in a far lower ADP than in the past, but his draft day price will always be too high for me unless Andrus becomes a very, very late round pick.Sep 25, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (1) reacts to a called strike in the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports