If you just look at Elvis Andrus’ baseball card statistics, he probably doesn’t look all that great. In five seasons and 3,289 plate appearances, Andrus has 18 home runs and a .274 batting average. However, we are smarter than the average baseball card these days. We have more indicators that tell us how good a baseball player is.
He has always been a slightly below-average offensive player, with a career wRC+ of just 85 and a .274/.339/.348 triple-slash line. However, the value Andrus brings on defense and on the bases far outweighs his shortcomings on offense. From 2009 to 2013, Andrus has saved 18.3, 8.2, 13.9, 14.7 and 10.1 defensive runs above average.
Along with never having a bad defensive season, Andrus has also been an above-average base runner in every season of his career. In five seasons, Andrus has been 38.1 runs above average on the basepaths, and he has 165 stolen bases.
The Texas Rangers clearly understand the value Andrus brings to their club. They may have even overvalued him a bit. The Rangers signed Andrus to an extension last year that will keep him in Texas until after the 2018 season at the earliest. Andrus has two chances to opt out of his contract — after the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
If he chooses to not opt out, which is unlikely, he will most likely be a Ranger until after the 2013 season barring a trade. His eight-year, $118 million contract starts following the 2014 season. Along with Andrus, the Rangers also have another highly-touted player in the middle of their infield. Top prospect Jurickson Profar will be playing alongside Andrus for the foreseeable future, giving the Rangers a very formidable infield.