Projected as the best shortstop in the AL and the third-best shortstop in the majors over the next...
Projected as the best shortstop in the AL and the third-best shortstop in the majors over the next five years, Andrus combines a top-notch glove at shortstop with a progressing bat that our projections see taking some major strides.
After stepping in as the Rangers' shortstop before he could even legally drink, Andrus put up a 3.1 WAR season on his way to being thoroughly underrated in the Rookie of the Year balloting. But that lack of attention won't last long, as Andrus has taken major strides as a hitter since last season while maintaining his superb defense.
After being a slightly below average hitter in 2009, he's already on his way to an above average performance this season, and our projections peg him at roughly average offensively in Year 1. The shocking thing, though, is that the projections see Andrus' offense absolutely taking off relative to his glove. After putting up a +0.4 RAA in Year 1, that mark jumps to +6.4 in Year 2, +14.2 in Year 3, +18.1 in Year 4 and a shocking +21.1 RAA in Year 5. Only one player on the entire Top 50 shows more improvement between Year 1 and Year 5 in terms of RAA and WAR, and there's really no comparable on the list in terms of seeing a player go from average to well above average over the course of the projections.
There are dozens of things to get excited about with that team in Texas, but there's little doubt in my mind that Andrus should be at or near the top of that list.