Elvis Andrus came over to the A’s in the Feb. 6 trade that sent designated hitter Khris Davis to the Texas Rangers. He was no stranger to the team as he spent all 12 seasons of his career playing in the AL West, and while we knew he could play the shortstop position well, Melvin has been impressed with more than his performance on the field.
“He’s a terrific shortstop, and I’ve said all along, he’s like a point guard, just got a great feel for the game,” Melvin told reporters on Saturday. “But I think what I’ve been most impressed by -- and a guy like him, we’re just trying to get him ready for the season, so we’re not so much about numbers, it’s more about health and getting him enough reps -- what I’ve been most impressed by is how well he’s fit in with our group of guys.”
Andrus would be spending his time working with Matt Chapman. A rather easy task -- that is if you know where you stand.
Chapman is used to covering a ton of foul territory, so it ultimately will come down to how they will work together, a task that appears to be going swimmingly so far. He’s just glad he’s no longer on the opposing team anymore.
“I used to hate [Chapman] so much because nothing goes through him, but now playing alongside I just need to know how much actual ground he covers so I can kind of figure it out how he’s going to be during the season,” Andrus said earlier this month.
The two-time All-Star also referred to Chapman’s defensive game as “poetry,” along with comparing him to legendary third baseman Adrian Beltre.
Andrus always has been outgoing and fun, so it’s no surprise he meshed so well with the team early on. He’s known Melvin for years as well. It didn’t appear he had the case of the new kid in school mentality upon arriving at camp.
“You’ve been in one place for a long time, you come to a new place, I don’t know, maybe there’s a little trepidation, maybe your personality doesn’t come out for a while, but it did right away with him,” Melvin added.
There’s also an advantage to having someone who’s been on the opposite side of the ball, and had so much exposure to the A’s for so many years. That goes without saying.
And while Andrus’ spring numbers at the plate have been rather forgetful, his career numbers are solid. He's hit .274/.330/.372 and he’s a base stealer.
Melvin is happy with what he’s seen so far.
“Everything I see in drills shows up the way I expected it to,” Melvin added.
Expect some really fun moments this season between Andrus, Chapman and the rest of the squad.