FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. Good piece. You might want to rephrase or clarify the spray chart section; Furcal’s a switch hitter, so it’s unclear from aggregated spray charts that he pulls a third, oppos a third, and goes up the middle with the rest.

    Comment by davisnc — May 10, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

  2. The Pull-Center-Oppo numbers come from FanGraphs splits. The spray charts just show graphically what has otherwise been tallied.

    Comment by Wendy Thurm — May 10, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

  3. NL Central teams are more or less fine defensively – don’t let the early returns fool you. The Reds have been elite recently and have returned most of the same players. The Brewers are much improved with Gonzalez/Izturis taking over for Yuni and with Fielder gone. The rest don’t project to be especially bad either.

    Comment by Cardsfan — May 10, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  4. Are you sure he only has 2 doubles this year???

    Comment by masonskids — May 10, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

  5. It’s ten. Thanks for catching the typo. Fixed.

    Comment by Wendy Thurm — May 10, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  6. You might want to avoid references to the “fountain of youth” for players who have hitting coaches named Mark McGwire.

    Comment by LegallyMinded — May 10, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

  7. The Cubs are definitely terrible defensively, but the Astros, Brewers, and Pirates, should all be OK, and the Reds have been one of the better defensive teams in the NL for the past couple years.

    That citing of DRS and UZR/150 is example A of why you shouldn’t ever cite those stats with any seriousness after just 31 games.

    Comment by Frankie — May 10, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

  8. If only the Giants had traded for Furcal instead of Orlando Cabrera.

    Comment by Mark Reynolds — May 10, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

  9. While he’s on the 33-36 year old leader board, I’d don’t think you’ll find him on the 21-22 year old board.

    Comment by Chris — May 10, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

  10. Rafael Furcal is just an early bird special…

    One of those more senior players who looks like he’s having a renaissance early in the season…until he inevitably breaks down due to injury or the daily grind.

    But enjoy it while it lasts!

    Comment by Hunter fan — May 10, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

  11. Well thanks for bursting my bubble there. I was hoping Furcal would continue to rake as well as he has been. Curse you regression!

    Comment by KlausChadman — May 10, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

  12. Razzball glossary

    Comment by Feeding the Abscess — May 10, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

  13. Furcal found the Fountain of Youth once, why can’t he find it a second time (he was a 19 year old rookie in 2000, remember)? If anyone can help him find his way through the lies, Big Mac is the man.

    Comment by The Rajah — May 10, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

  14. No mention of 2012 Jeter at all? Is there a dedicated article in the pipeline or do we have to wait for his 40th HR this year?

    Comment by Cliff — May 10, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

  15. Thanks for all the fine research, Wendy!

    I wouldn’t be shocked if Furcal ends up at around .315/.390/.440, with solid D and 15-20 steals.

    What’s that, about a 5-WAR shortstop? Furcal is like so much of this St. Louis team: old and/or brittle…but also immensely talented.

    On a somewhat related note, I believe the Central division has the best run differential in the Senior Circuit. I wonder if the National League isn’t more balanced than we all assumed pre-season.

    Comment by Butters — May 10, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

  16. Sheesh, we’ve already played a month and no fangraph writer has fellated Jeter yet? Oh, the humanity!

    Comment by chuckb — May 10, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

  17. I don’t think Jeter fellatio is common in these parts, but there has been quite a dramatic turnaround since 2010 and the first half of 2011. You do not think there is any merit to a sabermetric analysis of this change for a 38 year old shortstop? But there is for Furcal?

    Comment by Cliff — May 10, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

  18. What guarantee is there that he would be hitting like this for the Giants?

    Comment by y — May 10, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

  19. Does Jeter even count as a shortstop anymore? I know he likes to frequent the same places as a shortstop, but he certainly doesn’t field like one.

    Comment by TheBirds — May 11, 2012 @ 1:44 am

  20. Good article. It should be noted that for all of the plate discipline stats (anything that differentiates between “in zone” and “out of zone”) you have to adjust for changing league averages before you can compare single season to a career.

    Comment by vivaelpujols — May 11, 2012 @ 2:14 am

  21. I seriously think his triple slash has gone up since his dad got kicked by that horse.

    Comment by BrianU — May 11, 2012 @ 6:02 am

  22. Definitely! Didn’t know if I could link to another site here, but that’s hands down the best definition I’ve read for older players with fast starts.

    Comment by Hunter fan — May 11, 2012 @ 8:32 am

  23. The Brewers only have two above average defenders on their roster. They are not a good defensive team.

    Comment by Bob — May 11, 2012 @ 8:42 am

  24. If you expand it to 20-23 the only person to beat his wRC+ is Pujol’s in 2003 and he’d be tied with Miguel Cabrera’s 2006 for 5th in wOBA.

    Comment by BTU — May 11, 2012 @ 10:39 am

  25. I so wanted the Giants to sign Furcal this offseason.
    Why won’t they ever listen to me?

    Comment by Baltar — May 11, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

  26. Of course Furcal is going to regress and his BABIP is partially lucky. Duh. But Furcal was a 4.2 WAR guy in 2010 and was 3.5 in 2009. I see no reason why he can’t be a near 4 WAR player this year, which is close to ASG worthy. A large regression does not have to equal crashing and burning.

    Comment by Matthew Cornwell — May 11, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

  27. Good grief this article makes me feel old. Furcal is finding the fountain of youth is he?

    I knew the major effect of the steriod era was to get us to forget that, to a baseball player, 35 is really old.

    Comment by Dan in Philly — May 11, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

  28. Uh. Furcal had a youthful indiscretion with a DUI and was very diligent in getting over that.

    Comment by AA — May 11, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

  29. Yes, Furcal has found the Fountain of Youth — it’s called St. Louis. For whatever reason the magic wasn’t working last year but as a general rule of thumb, anything that touches St. Louis is golden.

    Comment by Seth Beno — May 12, 2012 @ 11:08 am

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