Tagged: Rafael Furcal

Bloomberg Sports National League Fantasy All-Star Team


Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports


Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss whether the fans’ selections for the National League All-Star team were right and who should be starting the All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 10.



Buster Posey was not the right choice for the All-Star team. Phillies backstop Carlos Ruiz is having a sensational season, hitting .357 with 13 home runs, 46 RBI and a surprising three stolen bases. He has definitely been the best catcher in baseball this season.  


First Base

The fans got this one right by selecting Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who is probably the MVP of the first half of the season. He’s batting .350 with 14 home runs and 47 RBI.


Second Base

Brandon Phillips of the Reds should be starting rather than Dan Uggla. Phillips has a .279 average, 10 home runs and 47 RBI. He is also a good defensive player, which Uggla is not.


Third Base

The fans made the wrong choice by selecting Pablo Sandoval, who has missed plenty of time this season due to injury. David Wright of the Mets should have been the pick, as he has been an MVP candidate so far this year with a .350 average, 10 home runs, 55 RBI and eight stolen bases.



Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro should be starting in place of Rafael Furcal. Castro is batting .291 with six home runs, 40 RBI and 16 stolen bases. Despite those numbers, he can be frustrating because he makes a lot of boneheaded plays but he is young and will hopefully grow out of that. 



Not one of the three outfielders chosen by the fans was the right pick. Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies should be starting instead of Melky Cabrera. Gonzalez is batting .340 with 17 home runs, 58 RBI and 10 stolen bases, though he is helped out by playing at Coors Field.

Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun should have been selected over Matt Kemp. Braun is once again putting up MVP numbers with a .309 average, 23 home runs, 59 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

Finally, Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen should have been chosen rather than Carlos Beltran. McCutchen is batting .360 with 16 home runs, 54 RBI and 14 stolen bases. Beltran would have been a good selection if the National League had a designated hitter. He has a .304 average, 20 home runs, 63 RBI and eight stolen bases this season.


For more insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Trade Deadline Fantasy Analysis: The Hitters


Follow us on Twitter: @BloombergSports @RobShawSports @MicheleSteele


Ryan Ludwick to the Pirates

I love this trade for the Pirates.  He may be batting just .238 with a .301 on base percentage, but Ludwick is also responsible for 11 home runs and 64 RBI.  Plus, on the road Ludwick has 39 RBI in 49 games.  That puts him on pace for 130 RBI should he play 162 road games.  That is key since Pittsburgh is closer to neutral than the pitcher’s friendly Petco Park. 


Derrek Lee to the Pirates

The .246 average may not impress anyone, but Lee is batting .298 with 13 RBI since the All-Star break.  A long-time National Leaguer, Lee boasts a .297 career average at PNC Park.  He is a solid replacement over the struggling Lyle Overbay at first base. 


Michael Bourn to the Braves

The Houston native was thrilled to be an Astro, but at least he will now get a chance to play for a contender.  Bourn is best known for his defense in centerfield and his speed on the basepaths.  He is a bit of a free-swinger for a leadoff man, but thanks to a .303 average, Bourn is getting on base often this season.  He should now rack up more runs with some big bats behind him in the Braves lineup. 


Hunter Pence to the Phillies

While Carlos Beltran may be the better player now, Hunter Pence likely has the better future.  It should be fun to see how he develops now that he enters a favorable ballpark in a solid lineup.  A model of consistency, Pence has blasted 25 home runs in three straight seasons and hit .282 the last two.  His value soars now that he will add greater run production due to the likes of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the Phillies lineup. 


Rafael Furcal to the Cardinals

The lone home run and .197 average says he’s done, but Busch Stadium has been known to have the Ponce De Leon fountain of youth (just check out Lance Berkman).  In the Cardinals lineup, Furcal is bound to improve.  Plus, the trade breathes new life into the 33-year-old shortstop who now gets a crack at meaningful baseball.



MLB Season in Review: Los Angeles Dodgers Hitters

By Eriq Gardner //

Biggest Surprise: Rafael Furcal
Thanks to injuries that limited Furcal to just 428 plate appearances, his superlative season probably won’t get too much credit. However, according to Fangraphs’ value chart, Furcal finished the season as the team’s most valuable position player, and the shortstop does get some credit in our book for doing extremely well in limited time in a year where production at shortstop was quite meager. Furcal bounced back from a subpar 2009 of just 9 HR, 12 SB, and a .269 AVG to put up 8 HR, 22 SB, and a .286 AVG in 2010.
Biggest Disappointment: Matt Kemp
Most fantasy owners would gladly take 28 HR and 19 SB from one of their players. But expectations were much higher for this first-round pick. What’s disappointing about Kemp’s season was the step backwards he made at the plate. His batting average dropped from .297 in 2009 to just .249 in 2010. The struggles led to some bench time late in the season. When Kemp reached base, he struggled there was well, getting caught stealing 15 times in 34 attempts, which – along with being relegated to the bottom of the lineup for a big chunk of the season – contributed to his subpar runs scored total.
2011 Keeper Alert: It Depends
No batter on the team is a lock to outperform their price tag in keeper leagues. Mostly, it depends on the format of the keeper league. In those leagues where owners can protect players regardless of price, Matt Kemp will still likely be a player who is Top 50. In leagues where you can get a salary bargain based on previous year’s stats, Rafael Furcal is probably the best bet – although he’s getting up there in age and is injury-prone. 
2011 Regression Alert: Andre Ethier
Ethier was fantastic at the start of the season, blasting 11 HR and hitting nearly .400 during the season’s first six weeks. Then, Ethier suffered a fractured bone at the end of his right pinkie, missed time, and when he returned, was never quite the same. His average dropped like a rock and the power went missing. Assuming he’s fully healthy next season, expect much better results for Ethier.

For more on Dodgers batters, check out Bloomberg Sports’ Fantasy Tools.

Rafael Furcal: A Risk Worth Taking

By Eriq Gardner //


This year so far has been absolutely atrocious for shortstops in major league baseball.
Going into the season, most fantasy competitors knew that only a handful of shortstops were expected to produce significant numbers this season. Since then, the situation has only become more dire. 
There have been big injuries. Troy Tulowitzki fractured his left wrist and is still recovering on the disabled list. Jimmy Rollins missed more than two months with a calf injury. Asdrubal Cabrera fractured his left forearm.
And there have been huge disappointments. Alexei Ramirez, Yunel Escobar, Jason Bartlett, Alcides Escobar, and Miguel Tejada are all producing far short of expectations.
As a result, shortstops are on pace to collectively have one of their worst fantasy years in some time.
Take a look at this animated visualization charting the number of Runs Created over the last eight years by the 10 most valuable players at each infield position. Press the play button and note how badly shortstops are faring versus their infield brethren this season.

This brings us to Rafael Furcal, who may astonishingly be alone among all drafted shortstops in significantly surpassing projected value.


Furcal has been ultra-hot at the plate recently and boasts impressive numbers for the season:  6 HR, 51 R, 35 RBIs, 14 SB, and a .333 average. 
That makes him the second-most valuable shortstop on ESPN’s player rater and the 39th-most valuable batter overall.
Now consider that Furcal missed a month of the season with his own injury, and you’ll get an idea how great he’s been when playing. Simply put, on a value-per-game basis, the only batters at any position who have been better are Miguel Cabrera, Josh Hamilton, and Carl Crawford. That’s it.
Furcal’s .333 batting average is the beneficiary of some good luck. His BABIP (average on balls in play) is .368, well above the league norm just above .300.

Perhaps more worrisome, Furcal is no spring chicken. He’s 32 years old and has missed 217 days of action since the beginning of the 2007 season. 
Still, there are risks and then there are risks.
Because shortstop is so thin this season, Furcal’s potential can’t be ignored. Even with regression, Furcal has a lot of room at the moment to slide off from his current rate and still be considerably above average at his position in all fantasy leagues.
He’s certainly injury-prone, but at this point of the season, fantasy teams looking to close standings gaps will likely need to look for high-upside/high-risk targets. In some cases, that means buying low on a slumping superstar. But another way might be acknowledging the value of a player producing well above his positional peers and taking the chance on good health. Buy high on Rafael Furcal.