Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections are a good measure of what to expect from players in the upcoming baseball season. We'll take a look at the Rangers' projections on a position-by-position basis. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.
Today we'll look at the projections for the Rangers shortstop. Last year saw a roller coaster campaign for Elvis Andrus, who started off the season as literally the worst starting position player in baseball judging by WAR, turned things around and then came back to be one of the team's leaders over the final few months of the year.
Andrus:672 plate appearances, 30 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs, 57 RBIs, 27 stolen bases, .267 batting average, .319 on-base percentage, .351 slugging percentage
Perhaps the biggest question mark facing the Rangers in 2016 is whether Andrus can bounce back mentally from his devastating flub(s) in the ALDS Game 5 loss to Toronto. Neftali Feliz could never really do it after his Game 6 blown save in the 2011 World Series, and the Rangers hope Andrus can after his multiple-error seventh inning that led to a Jays comeback in the decisive game.
Over the final two or three months of the 2015 regular season, Andrus was fantastic and was the spark plug the Rangers have always expected him to be. Most importantly, he was absolutely fantastic in the field (that Game 5 notwithstanding) after a rough first half of the year that featured handfuls of errors.
If Andrus can hit 30 doubles and near 30 stolen bases while playing gold-glove caliber defense, that's going to be plenty good and in line with what the Rangers need from him.