Elvis Is In The Building
Here we are Ranger fans. Eleven games into this young season and we’ve already seen the early season emotional swings from the fans, the funny stats associated with a small sample size, a worst to first divisional run by this team, and that Burning Love for our team. There’s a ton of baseball left, and consequently, that means everything I’m about to say, could change quickly. However, eleven games into this season, it’s important to take notice that Elvis Andrus, has been Money Honey.
Andrus has spent the last few years in the Arlington Fandom’s Jailhouse Rock, (ok, I forced this one), and it doesn’t help that he’s been a notoriously slow starter in recent seasons. The charts below show his month by month average for 2014 and 2015.
|Month (2014)||Team||Average||On Base %|
|Month (2015)||Team||Average||On Base %|
In both years, you can see Elvis has been consistently in T-R-O-U-B-L-E in the month of April. In 2014, he picked himself up a bit and peaked by the end of June, still performed in July, and then faded in August. In 2015, it was a gradual build to a high mark in August. In fact, if we go back five years, Elvis has only hit .247 in the month of April, and that is including two of his best years, 2011 and 2012. More recently, though, looking at the last two years, which coincide with the ill winds that the Fandom blew his way, it becomes clear that Andrus typically needs some time to get his Blue Suede Shoes under him.
As the chart shows, he tends to get comfortable at the plate, and typically maintains a steady offensive game in May, June, and July, before finishing with a regression, (something I hope the Rangers are taking note of, whether it be the physical, or mental toll of the Texas Summers). The fact is that Elvis has struggled to put together a consistent season for a few years now, and slow stars are mainly to blame.
Now here we are eleven games into 2016, and only Fools Rush In, but Elvis is off to a blistering start with a .357 average, and an on-base sitting at .387, but see if You Can’t Help Following In Love With Elvis. I tend to believe it’s a little bit of a mirage to this point. For his career, Elvis produces a .309 BAbip, which is right in line with league average and for the most part, is an average player, (at least the last couple of years). This year? .400. That’s a shocking uptick. Again it is early, but baseball common sense and Suspicious Minds would tell us that any jump like that, for a veteran player, is mostly luck. The numbers will come back towards the career average as the season progresses.
In conjunction with his BAbip, there does not seem to be any signs that would indicate a reason for better results in his contact. Elvis has ten hits this year, nine of which are singles; the exit velocity on those nine singles is a measly 84.22. In 2015, his singles had an average exit velocity of 89.37. So, he’s not hitting the ball harder or farther. When you combine these two things, it would seem to indicate that there is an awful lot of luck involved in Elvis’s early success.
However, with a player undoubtedly fighting confidence issues the last two years, I think Elvis, and the Rangers, will take anything they can get at this point. As Andrus and the team try to erase the memories of their Heartbreak Hotel, (Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS), a quick start would be huge for the team, and the player. At 27 years old, there is plenty of time for Andrus to rediscover his offensive game, and this “lucky” start may have him All Shook Up with confidence, and maybe that helps propel him to his first good offensive season in some time. And the Rangers? They may have their rock star back at shortstop, if Elvis is indeed, in the building.