I get that Kevin Goldstein has been an Elvis Andrus doubter for quite some time, and still isn't sold on him.
But when he says this:
If you think [Elvis] was good last year, especially at the plate, he wasn’t.
It starts to strike me as cognitive dissonance.
Let's start off by looking at BP's stats (Goldstein, of course, writes for BP).
Andrus had a .255 EQA last season, and BP had him at 2.1 runs above average for his position.
Think about that...setting aside the fact that he was 20 years old, setting aside his defense, looking just at his offense relative to his position, Andrus was a slightly above average offensive player for his position in 2009.
I find BP's defensive stats to be sketchy, but even so, they had Elvis at 3 runs above average defensively last season.
So, according to BP, Elvis was an above-average shortstop in 2009. That is, by my definition at least, "good."
Prefer VORP? Elvis was 17 runs above replacement in terms of VORP, good for 16th in the majors among shortstops. And, again, that is an offense-only stat...we aren't talking about defense, or Elvis's age.
What about WAR? Fangraphs has Elvis as a 3.0 WAR player, which is comfortably in the "good" zone. That was 10th in the majors among shortstops.
I'm not sure what more Elvis has to do for him to be considered "good" last year. A shortstop who gives you a .255 EQA and comfortably above-average defense is a good player, period. I don't know if Goldstein was just speaking offhand and hadn't taken a close enough look at what Elvis did last year, or if he's just digging in because of his previous positions on Elvis.
There's also, in that same paragraph, a comment dismissing those who think he can be the next Hanley Ramirez, which I think is pretty much a strawman argument anyway...I've seen no one credible suggest that Andrus is another Hanley Ramirez.
But that doesn't mean that Elvis Andrus wasn't a good player last year. He was roughly average with the bat for a shortstop, he was terrific defensively, and even setting aside his age, he was a quality player.
Goldstein does some great work, but he whiffed on this one.