Elvis Andrus Q&A and Scouting Report

With the Rangers set to acquire 18-year-old shortstop Elvis Andrus, Lone Star Dugout brings you a Q&A and scouting report from The Braves Show's Bill Shanks. This feature originally ran on December 24, 2006.

Pending the results of physicals, the Texas Rangers are set to acquire four players from the Atlanta Braves, including High-A shortstop Elvis Andrus. The following is a feature that appeared on The Braves Show on December 24, 2006.

Interview with Elvis Andrus

Q: How do you think you did in 2006?

A: I feel like I had a good season. I feel I met my goals for this year. I'm a little tired, but I feel really, really good about my season. My fielding – I need to work more on my fielding. I made a lot of mistakes. But with my hitting, I feel much better.

Q: A full season, 142 games, is a lot of baseball for someone your age, isn't it?

A: It's a lot of games, a long season. I feel really good. I hated that we lost in the playoffs, but that's baseball, you know.

Q: You were a part of a pretty good team in Rome.

A: We are friends. We enjoy the game. If you don't enjoy the game, you'll hit bad and play bad. When you are enjoying the game, you enjoy what you do, that's your job. That's what you do.

Q: Hitting-wise, how did you do?

A: I don't feel bad about my hitting. I think I can hit better. After the injury to my back, I hit .280 when I came back. In a way, I feel real good about my year. It was my first full year and I learned a lot. Next year will be my second full season, so I need to hit good to get to the Atlanta Braves.

Q: What do you need to improve?

A: My fielding. I made a lot of mistakes in that this year. I take ground balls, a hundred ground balls, every day to get better. That's what I want, to get better. I want to be a good shortstop in the big leagues, and you want to be a good fielder.

Q: Were your mistakes in the field due to your inexperience and youth?

A: Sometimes. It's my first year, so I made a lot of my errors with just dumb mistakes. I'm learning baseball. I just need to mature.

Q: Were they mostly fielding or throwing errors?

A: My fielding. My arm is okay. I practice so much in spring training. A lot of my errors last year were when I threw the ball, but this year I made just six errors with my arm. I don't have any problems with my arm, or no pain in my shoulder. So I feel great. When I feel healthy, I just play in the field and enjoy the game. I know everyone makes mistakes, but that's part of the game.

Q: Looking forward to Myrtle Beach?

A: Yeah I'm ready. I want to make my preparation for Myrtle Beach next year. The next year is my year, it's the perfect year to show the Atlanta Braves that I'm ready. I think next year could be my real year.

Q: How is your back?

A: I feel a little tight right now. When I can play, I play. I don't think I'll play in the winter leagues. I'll take a break this winter. I'll work out. It was a long season.

Scouting report by The Braves Show's Bill Shanks

To realize that this kid is still only eighteen years old, and will play most of next season as an 18-year-old in the Carolina League is just downright scary. His potential is tremendous. He decided to play winter ball and is playing now in his home in Venezuela. I would imagine the reason he decided to go ahead and play was to work on his defense, which as you can tell by his comments is the area he really wants to improve. Elvis takes tremendous pride in his defense, and you can expect improvement as he moves along. Two years ago when Elvis made his first appearance at the Braves' spring training complex, scouts said that if he was a draft pick that same year, as a sixteen year old, he would be a first round pick. Then they said that if he were a high school kid in the states, with his talent he would be the top overall pick in the draft. So now, Elvis is preparing for the Carolina League, where he'll find some players on other teams ten years older. It's going to be another huge test for him, since more pitchers in the Carolina League throw better breaking stuff than in the Sally League. The new owners of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are bringing the fences in at Coastal Federal Field, and Elvis may be a direct beneficiary of that change. He thinks 20007 will be his breakout season, but the Braves just want to see continued development, knowing in two more years Andrus could easily be the top overall prospect in the game. With Edgar Renteria under contract through 2009, go ahead and pencil Elvis in your 2010 Atlanta lineup. He's got a chance to be a very special player.

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