All-‘Riders Team: Shortstop

2012 marks the RoughRiders’ 10th season as a franchise, all as the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate. Since 2003, there have been hundreds of talented players come through Dr Pepper Ballpark, but some have stood out more than others.  With the help of Michael Damman, the RoughRiders’ Director of Statistical Research, we’ve come up with the All-’Riders Team: the best player at each position in franchise history.  Today we continue with the RoughRiders all-time best shortstop.

Michael Damman’s Take:

Signed out of Venezuela by the Atlanta Braves and acquired by the Texas Rangers in the Mark Teixeira blockbuster trade on July 31, 2007, Elvis Andrus spent the 2008 season with the Frisco RoughRiders. It was his first and only full season in the Ranger’s minor league system.

As a 19 year old shortstop in Double-A, Andrus impressed immediately as he displayed excellent speed and outstanding defense at a crucial “up the middle” position. Andrus struggled the first couple months in Double-A, but was able to adjust and batted .313 with a .364 on base percentage after the Texas League All-Star game. Andrus used his plus-plus speed to steal a franchise best 54 steals for the ‘Riders. After committing 17 errors in the first two months, Andrus made 15 errors over the final three plus months.

Andrus made the jump from Double-A to the major leagues in 2009 and started 140 games at shortstop for the Texas Rangers. As a rookie, Andrus batted .267 with a .702 OPS and stole 33 bases in 39 attempts. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year award behind reliever Andrew Bailey of the Oakland Athletics. Andrus batted .265 in 2010 with a .643 OPS and stole 32 bases in 47 attempts. He drew 64 walks at the plate and led the league in sacrifice hits with 17. He was selected to his first All-Star game and set a career best in fielding percentage with a .978 fielding%. Andrus helped the Rangers to their first World Series appearance in franchise history. He batted .294 overall in the postseason for the Rangers. Andrus had 6 multi hit games throughout the 2010 postseason. In 2011, Andrus set career bests in batting average (.279), extra base hits (35), total bases (212), steals (37), RBI (60), runs (96), and OPS (.708). He batted .275 with a .364 on base percentage in the second half and walked more (35) than he struck out (29).

Up Next: Left Field

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