The chief difference between Elvis Andrus' 2015 and 2016 seasons was the 44-point batting average bump and 50-point bump in batting average on balls in play, both winding up as career bests. Considering little changed in his batted-ball profile, the biggest difference maker likely was good luck. Andrus isn't much of a mystery at age 28 and 5,203 plate appearances: He doesn't offer much power, but he'll chew up plate appearances with 20-plus stolen bases, with his batting average up to what happens when he puts wood on the ball on the back of high contact rates. Frankly, he's also fortunate he plays for the Rangers, an offense who'll bolster run and RBI potential for every regular. Considering he often hits low in the order, however, his value depends too much on what he can't control. While those seeking a middle infielder in mixed leagues can settle for him, he likely reached his ceiling this past year, so it's not worth chasing more.
Andrus went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in Saturday's game against the White Sox. The Rangers have been taking it slow with Andrus, who underwent surgery for a sports hernia last November and hadn't been on a field until Saturday's game. He'll continue to work on his timing and build toward Opening Day.
Andrus will start at shortstop and bat second in Saturday's Cactus League game, his first of the spring. Andrus has been easing back into action this spring after undergoing sports hernia surgery during the offseason, but his long-awaited return appears to have arrived. Nonetheless, with less than a month until Opening Day, fantasy owners would be wise to monitor how he responds in his first action of the spring. Andrus is looking to build off a stellar 2016 campaign in which he posted career highs in both batting average (.302) and RBI (69).
Andrus (groin) faced live batting practice on practice fields of Rangers camp Thursday, Stefan Stevenson of the Star-Telegram reports. Stevenson posted a video of Andrus taking hacks. It coincides with reports that the shortstop would be turning up the dial on his preseason exercises, and the speedster should return to game action this weekend. Of course, considering he's drafted mainly for stolen bases, his showing on the basepaths will go a long way to confirm the veteran's safety for mixed fantasy drafts.
Andrus (groin) is expected to increase his baseball activities and play in a spring game this weekend, Stefan Stevenson of the Star-Telegram reports. The shortstop has only built up his work gradually this spring after November surgery to repair a sports hernia. How he responds in his first March games should go a long way to revealing how safely fantasy owners can buy him as a source of steals in mixed league drafts.
Andrus (groin) said Sunday that he expects to make his Cactus League debut at some point during the week, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Andrus has been taking it easy in camp while recovering from November sports hernia surgery, but the Rangers don't seem to fear that the shortstop is at risk of missing the start of the season. He's steadily increased his activities since spring training opened, and after doing some more running, hitting and fielding drills in the next couple of days, he should be ready to see some game action.