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furcals-defense | June | 2005 Articles

2005 Archives

FurcalĂ­s defense

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Rafael Furcal's offensive numbers are much, much lower than expected to this point of the season. We all know this. However, you could make a legitimate case that he's the best defensive shortstop in the game right now. Think about it: 1. He's practically stopped making errors...I can't remember the last error he made. He has 5 errors this season, and that's good for a shortstop and not to mention a far cry from the 24 he made in 2004. 2. He isn't making bad decisions on close plays. 3. He has more range than anyone else. 4. He has a .985 fielding percentage, 3rd in the NL. His range allows him to get to more balls than other shortstops, meaning more chances for errors and lower fielding percentage. 5. He has a better arm than everyone else. And even though his offensive numbers are way down, they're still more or less slightly below average for a National League shortstop (although that's not saying a whole lot). And if he's middle of the pack offensively there with his defense at shortstop, the toughest defensive position on the diamond (other than catcher), it means he's a very valuable player right now...just not the way we thought he would be as the leadoff hitter with only adequate defense. Marcus Giles could also had a case made for him as one of the best defensive second basemen in addition to his offense. That's another story, though. But what a double play combination these 2 have grown to be!

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