Houston has Carlos Correa. Oakland has Marcus Semien, an MVP finalist. Los Angeles has Andrelton Simmons, who missed a few months due to injury. The American League West is stacked when it comes to quality shortstops that can hit.
So, even though Elvis Andrus had the lions’ share of starts at short for Texas, and even though he had a solid if not spectacular offensive season, the Rangers fell short at short when it came to comparisons with the rest of the division.
Same goes if you expand it out further. Of the twenty-four shortstops with enough at-bats to qualify, Andrus was twenty-second in OPS. He was dead last if you filter out National League shortstops. He was dead last in the American League in on-base percentage for shortstops. And, even though .274 is respectable, only one other shortstop in the American League had a lower batting average.
How strong was Andrus’s 2019 offensively? Well, he decided not to opt out of his contract. So, even though he loves it here in Texas, he also realizes his production would not warrant anywhere near his current salary in the open market.
Here is where the Rangers stacked up at shortstop in 2019 in their division:
Texas isn’t in the market for free agent shortstops, but if they were, here are the top ones available:
Tomorrow, left field (where it gets much, much better).