Rangers shuffle lineup, Andrus to benefit

Manager Ron Washington has re-aligned the Texas Rangers lineup, with Ian Kinsler slated to lead off and Elvis Andrus to hit 2nd. Michael Young will hit 6th.

Analysis: Andrus’s line from 2010 was deceivingly mediocre. He only hit .265, but his 32 steals and 88 runs were encouraging. So why is a player with his speed being moved to the #2 spot? Well, all of Andrus’s metrics from the lead-off spot were terrible. He led off in 134 games, and hit an anemic .136 with a .200 OBP in the first inning. Also, Andrus hit only .230 with a .304 OBP with the bases empty, and only .148 the first time he saw a starting pitcher.

However, for whatever inexplicable reasons, with runners on base, Andrus became a dynamic hitter. With men on, Andrus hit .339 and his on-base percentage soared to .420. With runners in scoring position, he was even better, hitting .347 with a .440 OBP. Andrus’s BABIP climbed over .400 in those situations, versus a ho-hum .277 with the bases empty.

So that’s a lot of stats to say that Andrus was a better hitter with men on base than leading off, but manager Ron Washington’s decision to move a player with Andrus’s speed out of the lead-off spot warranted explanation. However, he’s only 22 years old and his potential is through the roof. The move to the 2nd spot will help his batting average and RBI’s, but without extra-base power, it will still be a limited number of RBI’s.

Andrus is currently the 99th player drafted in standard drafts, and his average auction price is $8.6. That’s a little too high for a 2-category player in standard drafts, but just about right for auction.

Prediction: .282 / 94 runs / 2 home runs / 64 RBI’s, 34 steals.

Elvis Andrus Lite – Alexi Casilla Bargain

Andrus is hot and expensive: $27 in the recent CBS Sports Experts Auction and Round 6 in the KFFL Experts Draft. Casilla is cool, but only in the temperature sense, a post hype, post injury sleeper: $5 and Round 27 in the same Expert Auction and Draft. Both will be starting shortstops in 2011.
Analysis: Casilla has been cowed since his MLB debut in 2006 (age 21), garnering only 557 PA in 5 seasons due to immaturity and injuries. He’ll be 26 with MLB experience growth wise, so lets focus on the injury aspect. Alexi missed 50 days last season and 22 days in 2008. Career wise he’s had injuries to 6 different body parts: hand (3), low back (2), and only once- foot, hip, elbow, and ankle.
A 674 88 0 35 32 .265 .342 $16
B 557 65 8 50 18 .249 .336 n/a
A is actual 2010 for Elvis. B is an attempt to condense Alexi’s career into a single season’s worth of stats. (6-4-3 Assist to Baseball-Reference’s 162 Game Average)
Projection: 574 PA, 70 R, 10 HR, 60 RBI, 32 SB, .275 BA, .355 OBP, $20 Earned.