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Andrus' Defense Not Up to Par

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    SEATTLE - MAY 04: Shortstop Elvis Andrus #1 of the Texas Rangers tracks a ground ball against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on May 4, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Elvis Andrus;

    When Elvis Andrus hit the big leagues a few years back, it was widely thought he'd be the shortstop for a very long time for the Texas Rangers.

    Since then, he's taken his place atop a short list of shortstops of the future for the entire league, picking up where guys like Derek Jeter leave off.

    And even though that sentiment hasn't changed, Andrus' defense has, and it hasn't been for the better.

    It didn't take long for it rear its ugly head on Wednesday night as Denton's own Austin Jackson hit a routine grounder to Andrus on Matt Harrison's first pitch of the night, and Andrus soared the ball over the first baseman, allowing Jackson to reach base on an error.

    That was his 21st error of the season, which is five more than he made all of last year when the Rangers were one of the better defensive teams in the American League, and it's one shy of his mark for the entire 2009 season as a rookie.

    About a month ago now, Andrus made a couple of key errors and got called out publicly by manager Ron Washington. He, and the entire team, turned it around for a nice errorless stretch, but the miscues have picked up again since.

    Andrus is still a big part of the Rangers future. He has a seven-game hit streak going right now and has 30 stolen bases, but his defense absolutely has to get better. He's almost certainly going to have a career-worst year defensively.

    With Jurickson Profar lingering in Frisco, widely regarded as a top prospect in all of baseball, Andrus is making it more likely than ever that when his contract expires in 2015 (after arbitration this coming off-season) he'll be in pinstripes.