Tag:Elvis Andrus
Posted on: February 9, 2009 1:45 am

2009 AL Rookie of the Year Candidates

1. David Price - SP - Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay traded away Edwin Jackson to the Tigers this offseason to make room for David Price as the 5th starter in the Rays rotation. Price is projected to be an ace by most scouts and has excellent stuff and features a very good fastball and slider. He was the number one pick by the Rays in 2007 and excelled through all three levels of the minors last season and into the pros late in the year. Price was one of the Rays postseason heroes last season as he pitched the final inning of game 7 against the Boston Red Sox to advance the Rays to their first ever World Series appearance. The kid seems poised and ready to take on major league hitters and it will be fun watching what he can do with his first full season in the majors.

2. Elvis Andrus - SS - Texas Rangers

One of the main reasons the Rangers wanted Michael Young to make the transition from shortstop to third base was because of the young Elvis Andrus sitting in the teams farm system. Andrus was first acquired by the Rangers as part of the package the Braves sent to Texas for first basemen Mark Teixeira . He has limited power, but shows excellent bat speed along with quickness along the basepaths. Andrus is a defensive minded shortstop that could give the Rangers a legitimate leadoff hitter at the top of their lineup. He reminds me a lot of a younger Jose Reyes. Andrus will be given every opportunity to win the Rangers starting shortstop job out of spring training, but in case he still needs time in the minors, the Rangers added Omar Vizquel as a stopgap. It should be noted that Andrus has never played at AAA.

3. Matt Wieters - C - Baltimore Orioles

Pure talent. There hasn't been a catcher I was this excited about since Joe Mauer came up for his rookie season with the Twins . Wieters was Baseball America's minor league player of the year last season and very well could be the best prospect in baseball. The 2007 first round pick of the Orioles, Wieters dominated single-A ball hitting .345/.448/.576 with 15 homers and 40 in just 230 at bats. He then was called up to double-A where he hit .365/.460/.625. That's crazy. Wieters is expected to be the Orioles starter at some point this season. The question is....when? The team brought in Greg Zaun to be the veteran catcher to help ease Wieters into the big leagues, but it remains to be seen whether or not Wieters will break camp with the team.

4. Travis Snider - OF - Toronto Blue Jays

Snider advanced through all three levels of the minors last season and was the youngest player in the majors when he was called up in September of last season. He is only going to be 21 years of age to begin next season and is likely to be the Blue Jays everyday designated hitter as the teams outfield is already set with Adam Lind , Vernon Wells , and Alex Rios . Snider has a great bat and he figures to have 25 home run power in the big leagues. Snider is prone to strike out quite a bit and he doesn't have that great of plate discipline. If it can be developed, he can become a very good baseball player.


5. Matt LaPorta - OF - Cleveland Indians

LaPorta was the top prospect that the Indians acquired from the Brewers for CC Sabathia . While in Milwaukees discipline, LaPorta was known as an extremely patient hitter that would hit for high average and have decent pop. However, after he was traded to the Indians, LaPorta started to struggle. After hitting .288/.402/.576 with 20 homeruns in Milwaukee's farm system, LaPorta hit .233/.299/.350 with 2 homeruns in 17 games. LaPorta was so bad in the Venezuelan Winter League, he was sent home. However, LaPorta is a great talent and he should be able to turn it around. I doubtt LaPorta will start the year in the Indians outfield, but he could be be up within a couple months.

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