When doing my shortstop rankings, some readers gave me grief about not ranking Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus in the Top12. I have seen other rankings elsewhere and some rank him as high as #4 amongst fantasy shortstops for this year.
Andrus hit .265-.342-.301 in 2010 with no HRs, 35 RBIs and 32 SBs. He adds no value in the power categories and is league average in the BA category., His sole value to fantasy owners is in his SBs. He has stolen 65 bases over his first two seasons, but runs in less than 30% of his SB opportunities. Speedsters like Juan Pierre and Michael Bourn attempt a SB in the 38%-43% range. Plus, his contact rate, while decent, is just 84%. In comparison, Pierre's contact rate is in the low 90% range.
Should Rangers manager display more confidence in Andrus' base stealing abilities, Andrus could improve his SB totals to the low to mid 40 range in 2011. Last year, Andrus stole 32 bases, but got caught 15 times, so he will have to improve his success rate as well. Andrus did steal 43 bases in AA in 2008, so he is capable of improving on the basepaths.
With all that said, I am considering including Andrus in my Top 12 shortstop rankings which I will be looking at over the next few weeks. But is he a Top 5 fantasy shortstop in 2011? Would you take Andrus over Stephen Drew, Alexei Ramirez, Derek Jeter or Jimmy Rollins?