Friday, January 28, 2011

Rafael Furcal misses MLB Network's Top 10 shortstops

Like most baseball fans, MLB Network has been a Godsend. It isn't perfect, but it certainly isn't ESPN.

I enjoy the series, "Top 10 Right Now," the network is running. While I don't agree with all the rankings, a lot of them are accurate.

I happened to turn on the TV on my day off to find the Top 10 shortstops. I tuned in at No. 4, which was Jose Reyes. I thought he was ranked a bit high but wasn't too up in arms about it.

I was wondering where the Dodgers' Rafael Furcal had placed. When the show recapped numbers 10 through two, Furcal was absent. Guys like Starlin Castro (whom I actually like) and Marcos Scutaro ranked ahead of Furcal.

Let's break this down.

Furcal's Wins Above Replacement (player), a cumulative statistic, mark in 2010 was 4.1. That was good for fourth-best in baseball. Oh yeah: he did it in 97 games!

Shortstop WAR in 2010
(click for larger view)

Now, WAR isn't the be-all, end-all, but it it's a rather significant statistic. By the looks of it, MLB Network got it really wrong in this case.

The show even had a "Just Missed" list that didn't feature Furcal.

I know he isn't the most durable guy, but Furcal is valuable and definitely a Top 10 shortstop right now.


Keith Law recently ranked the 30 farm systems in baseball. The Dodgers checked in at No. 22. He also released his Top 100, which featured three Dodgers: Dee Gordon (70), Zach Lee (91) and Rubby De La Rosa (94). They ranked No. 2, 4 and 5, respectively, on my Dodgers' Top 30 list.

Gordon also checked in on's Top 50 list, as ranked by Jonathan Mayo, at No. 44.


  1. Furcal's range isn't quite what it used to be and his arm isn't the canon it once was. Ever since he hurt his back, he's been very cautious. He definitely doesn't dive around the middle of the infield like he used to.

  2. His range is down but I think his arm is still almost as good as it was in his prime. He still makes a lot of plays other shortstops can't.

    If he made the routine play as much as he made the spectacular play, he'd be a perennial Gold Glover.