There's been some discussion about Elvis Andrus's high error totals this season, and whether that is indicative of Andrus's defensive abilities being overrated, or just a product of playing shortstop in the minors.
So I went and looked up the minor league data on some generally well-regarded defensive shortstops, and counted up how many errors they had in their minor league careers.
(And I offer this with the caveat that data wasn't available for every season on some players, so the number of minor league games reflects the number of minor league games data was available for their performance at shortstop, not the total number of minor league games they played).
Troy Tulowitzki -- 30 errors in 121 minor league games, 1 error every 4.0 games.
Khalil Greene -- 27 errors in 173 minor league games, 1 error every 6.4 games.
Edgar Renteria -- 40 errors in 169 minor league games, 1 error every 4.2 games.
Adam Everett -- 75 errors in 443 minor league games, 1 error every 5.9 games.
Erick Aybar -- 119 errors in 475 minor league games, 1 error every 4.0 games.
Cristian Guzman -- 32 errors in 140 minor league games, 1 error every 4.4 games.
Tony Pena -- 103 errors in 462 minor league games, 1 error every 4.5 games.
Elvis Andrus has 78 errors in 273 minor league games, 1 error every 3.5 games. That's a high total...however, his minor league career fielding percentage, .943, isn't really out of line with the .940-.950 range that most of the guys listed above hovered around. And it is worth noting that fielding percentages appear to get better as you go higher up in the minors, particularly at the AAA level, which I think reflects field quality.
Now...does this mean Andrus is a great fielder? Does it mean the error totals this season aren't a concern? Absolutely not...he's making more errors than you want to see so far this season.
But I also think, when you compare his performance with some of the guys listed above, I don't think it sends up such red flags that we should be dismissing his ability to be a plus defensive shortstop in the majors.