Fantasy Baseball - Shortstop - Rafael Furcal
Fantasy baseball player profile - Rafael Furcal.
In the age of big-hitting shortstops, Rafael Furcal is something of a throwback. He doesn't bring a lot of power to the plate, but he does bring a solid glove, solid average and stellar base stealing numbers. In leagues where stolen base categories and strikeouts take off points, drafting Rafael Furcal in the middle rounds isn't such a bad idea.
When considering Rafael Furcal for daily fantasy baseball, look at his opponents and consider the strategy you employ. A lot of players like to build a squad around power hitting, hoping one or two big-scores a night will win the prize. Others prefer to draft players who don't strike out, but who consistently add to their scores with hits, steals and runs scored. If you prefer to build a team such as this, consider adding Rafael Furcal or Jose Reyes as your shortstop. These guys have the added bonus of being a lot cheaper than your Derek Jeters or Carlos Guillens of the world, too.
Rafael Furcal's Rise to the Majors
Rafael Furcal was signed by the Braves in 1996 as an undrafted free agent second baseman. He bounced around the Braves minor league system until 1999, when Rafael made the move to shortstop. Furcal became a solid base stealer in the minors, which is how he made a name for himself.
An injury brought Furcal all the way from Single-A ball to the majors in 2000. Furcal established himself as a solid leadoff hitter in that year, eventually winning National League Rookie of the Year honors based on a .295 average and 40 stolen bases.
2006 Rafael Furcal Season Stats
Furcal had his best production in 2006, when he hits .300 for the first time and added 15 HRs, 63 RBIs and 37 stolen bases. This was impressive given, that Furcal was playing in the pitcher park at Dodgers Stadium. He had come over from Atlanta in the offseason. Considering that Furcal has played his career in Atlanta and Los Angeles, he certainly would have had better numbers had he spent more time in hitters parks.
As it is, Furcal remains a solid if unspectacular fantasy option at shortstop. If you don't spend on one of the top SS's, grabbing Furcal isn't so bad. This wasn't the year to do so, coming off his best year as a pro. But next year when Furcal is likely to go lower in fantasy baseball drafts, you might pick him up as a steal.
2007 Rafael Furcal Stats
Rafael has a .278 average with 2 HRs, 32 RBis and 10 stolen bases in 2007. Given that he has played most of the season, these are disappointing numbers for fantasy owners who spent a high round draft pick on Furcal. He's simply not the sort of player to put up huge fantasy numbers in the parks in which he's playing, so keep that in mind when drafting Rafael in years to come.
How Old is Rafael Furcal Anyway?
It's somewhat impossible to guess what age Rafael Furcal is. It is thought Furcal was born somewhere between 1977 and 1980, so you should take that into account when determining his fantasy value. Obviously, the younger he is, the more impressive his numbers are and the more longevity you can expect from him.
This is fairly common with Dominican players, or players from other non-North American nations. It is tempting to force documents to make oneself appear younger, because this makes the player appear to have more natural talent than it would otherwise appear. Conversely, there is also a temptation to fudge the numbers in the other direction, because MLB players are not supposed to sign foreign players before they are 16. In this case, pretending to be older than assumed means the player would get signed a year or two earlier, often important with the players in more desperate financial situations.