When Will The King Return

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We all love seeing Elvis Andrus flash the leather on the diamond. A shortstop who can play his kind of defense is rare. One who can get solid base hits and steal bases, in addition to the defense, is awesome and probably to be coveted. Lately, Elvis’ defense is keeping him afloat, while his bat is trying to come back to him. I personally think he’s just lost focus at the plate, which in turn has led to his contact being very weak and non productive.
I’m probably not the first to assert this, but Andrus is not seeing the ball well. He showed some small signs of improvement in New York, but is still struggling overall. He has developed a tendency to let some hittable pitches go across the plate for a strike and is occasionally hard pressed to work a walk, even though he is most successful when up in the count. One of the usual signs of him seeing well is finding ways in the at bat to get the pitcher to leave something up in the zone for him to drive. The best way for him to do that is to get back to spotting lower pitches as they’re coming and laying off.

One could mention the need to get him reined in on appropriate times to bunt. If Wash is calling for a bunt because that’s the most effective thing he feels Elvis can do, then that’s on Wash. If Elvis is getting to choose when to bunt, then that’s a slightly different matter. The best thing for him to do at least his first three at bats is to try and either get a hit or take a walk, especially when he’s looking to get back into a groove. I’d really like to see him grind out his at bats and not yield sac bunts so early.

At the beginning of his career (2009), one of the things that contributed to Elvis’ power was the way he would step into his swing. He planted his left foot, which would help his balance and allow him to get good rotation in his torso and hips and translate that into power to drive the ball. In the middle of the 2011 season, he started employing a double foot-tap to step into his swing. The tap has worked fairly well since then, but if you look at his foot movements at the plate now, his tap has weakened and it appears to look more like he’s just dragging his foot across the box instead. I’d like to see him get back to the swing he had when he started, which would look a lot like it does here. A solid footing helps balance his body and helps him create the most power, even if the result is an authoritative single and not a home run.

I love Elvis Andrus, Texas Ranger. He is an essential part of this team and a lot would be lost without him being in Arlington. All that being said, it’s frustrating to see him struggle at the plate, especially when his defense is so good and we know that he’s capable of being productive at the plate. The good thing is, he isn’t lazy or unmotivated. He will be back and will once again contribute to both sides of the game, just give him time and trust that he will take care of business.

Thanks, as always, for reading. Go Rangers!

Sarah Powers is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning.com. She can be reached at sarah.powers@shutdowninning.com or on Twitter @Power_Play86.
Sarah Powers

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