You realize that Andruw doesn’t even turn 26 until April of this year? (Assuming his listed age is correct, and most of the baseball ages seem to have been shaken out by the new visa restrictions.) It seems like he’s been around forever, and this will be his seventh full season.
It may be that what we see with Andruw now is what we get: gold glove defense combined with a productive but not MVP-level hitter. It’s frustrating, because every so often he gives a glimpse of more. I’ve always said that if Andruw would just do everything he’s shown himself capable of, he’d be one of the best players in baseball, but he never puts it all together for more than a couple of weeks at a time. Last year, he hit only .264, but had the second-best OPS of his career, set a career high for walks with 83, and had 35 homers and 34 doubles. In context, it was probably a better season than he had in 2000, because hitting conditions were a little tougher last year. With a lot of players, I’ll say they need more power or more walks, but in Andruw’s case he needs to hit .300 (something he’s done only in 2000) to break out. Everything else was there last year.
Alternately, he could just be average part of the time rather than going into deep slumps. He was awful in July and August last year, good in April and May, but excellent in June and magnificent in September (.359/.405/.769). If he’d put up his career averages in the bad months his season would have been a lot better… His range factor slipped a little last year but is still well above the league. He battled some injuries, but mostly to the upper body. He doesn’t look slow to me, but he has a tendency to put on weight around the middle.