Andrus with the Texas Rangers in 2016
|Texas Rangers - No. 1|
August 26, 1988 |
|April 6, 2009, for the Texas Rangers|
(through October 1, 2017)
|Runs batted in||524|
|Career highlights and awards|
Andrus was born in Maracay, Venezuela, the son of Emilio and Elvia Andrus. Emilio Andrus was a university professor; he died when Elvis was seven years old. He has two older brothers, Erold and Erikson. Some Venezuelan families name their children after famous non-Venezuelan people, but Andrus said that he is not sure whether he was named after Elvis Presley. Andrus said, "I asked my mother a lot of times, but she never told me. Maybe my dad liked Elvis Presley. I'm not sure about that."
At the age of 16, Andrus was signed by the Atlanta Braves and received a signing bonus of more than $500,000. He started the 2005 season with the Orlando Braves of the Gulf Coast League, and was promoted to Danville late in the season. He spent 2006 with Class-A Rome, being named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team.
On July 31, 2007, Andrus, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and three minor league pitchers (Matt Harrison, Neftalí Feliz and Beau Jones) were traded from the Braves to the Rangers for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay.
With Rangers shortstop Michael Young agreeing to move to third base in 2009, Andrus earned the starting job on Opening Day. He was the second-youngest player in the American League at the time. As Andrus was only 20 years old, Texas signed veteran shortstop Omar Vizquel for insurance.
Andrus stole his 20th base on July 28, 2009 in his rookie season. Andrus was the 10th player in major league history to steal 20 bases under the age of 21. The last player to do that was then-teammate Andruw Jones in 1997 with the Atlanta Braves. Andrus was named to the 2010 American League All-Star team as a reserve shortstop.
In 2011, Andrus batted .279, with 5 home runs. He was 3rd in the American League in sacrifice hits (16), 4th in caught stealing (12), and 5th in stolen bases (37). On defense, he led all AL shortstops in errors, with 25, and was 2nd among league shortstops in putouts (245) and 3rd in assists (407). In 2012, Andrus earned his second All-Star selection, batting .286 while leading the American League in sacrifice hits with 17.
Before Opening Day of 2013, Andrus signed an eight-year, $120 million extension. On September 14, he stole his 40th stolen base of the season against the Oakland Athletics, stealing second base off of Bartolo Colón. Andrus later surpassed Ian Kinsler for the Texas Rangers all-time leader in stolen bases with 175. He finished the year again leading the American League in sacrifice hits (16) while batting .271 and scoring 91 runs.
Andrus began the 2014 season with an 11-game hitting streak that ultimately ended with an early ejection April 13. On June 8, Andrus had a 39-game hitting streak against the Cleveland Indians snapped as he went 0 for 4. That game marked the first time in his career where he did not get a hit against the Indians. Only Vladimir Guerrero had a longer streak against a team with (44, against Texas). Andrus stole his 180th career stolen base against the Seattle Mariners but led the American League in caught stealing with 15, batting .263 for the season.
Andrus finished 2015 with career lows in batting average (.258), OBP (.309) and sacrifice hits, while posting a career best seven home runs and stealing 25 bags for the AL West champion Rangers. He batted .182 in the Rangers' ALDS series against Toronto and made two of the team's three errors in the pivotal seventh inning of Game 5, won by the Blue Jays. In 2016 Elvis had a career year, he batted .302, hit eight home runs, and had 69 RBIs, which are all career highs.
Two of Andrus' brothers remain in Venezuela. Andrus voiced concern about his home country during civil unrest in early 2014. "As a human being, you always get angry when you see what's happening with the military back home doing stuff to the civils, and to the students, and that's what really gets me angry. I'm not a political guy, but I just hate when you see somebody just walking and trying to say something get hit by police, or get hit by any military from the country that's supposed to defend the country instead of shoot him or hit him", he said.
Andrus' older brother Erold Andrus played in the independent leagues in 2009 and 2010 as an outfielder. He has played in the organizations of several MLB teams. During spring training of 2011, though Erold was in minor league camp, he got the opportunity to play in a Rangers spring training game, the first time that Erold and Elvis played together in the United States.