Player Profile: Elvis Andrus

A little over 50 games into the season, Andrus is one long ball away from matching his career high of 8, set last season. While we are not accustomed to seeing this type of power production from the 28 year old Shortstop, we are very familiar with his speed on the base paths. Andrus has an impressive 12 steals already and is pacing just over 30. His power speed combo places him in a very elite offensive class. Andrus is one of three qualified hitters to have 10 or more steals and a SLG above .450 (the others are Goldschmidt and Altuve). As you would image his .468 SLG is quite uncharacteristic and more than .100 points higher than his career average (.362). Digging in a little deeper he has made about a 30% improvement in his GB/FB rate going from a career rate of 1.23 to a rate of .87 this season. Andrus hits a good number of line drives and profiles as a pull hitter. His early season pull tendencies haven’t affected his batting average as much as they have other hitters. Typically players with a pull percentage greater than 43% have a combined batting average of .246. Andrus is pulling the ball at a career high of 49%.  He loves hitting Fastballs but seems to have a little more Bo Gentry in him this season than I’m sure he would like to admit. For those who don’t remember or haven’t seen the movie, Bo Gentry is the minor league prospect from the movie “Trouble with the Curve”. Andrus only whiffs on 3% of fastballs but that number jumps to 19% for sliders and 21% for curve balls. As a point of reference his career whiff rate against curve balls is 8%!! The Home Runs Andrus has hit haven’t been cheap ones. His Average HR distance is over 400 ft despite his unimpressive 87.84 AEV (average exit velo). One possible theory is that Andrus is ambushing fastballs. 3 of his 7 home runs this season were hit on the first pitch of the at bat. It’s also possible that his approach has somewhat changed as shown by his slight uptick in fly balls the last 3 seasons. Combine this with his increasing pull percentage and he may just be selling out for power more often. The question that remains is how much power is there to sell out for.

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