Saturday, October 22, 2011

Free Agent Watch: Rafael Furcal

In his 12 year career, shortstop Rafael Furcal has posted a 33.1 WAR in 12 years, worth 8.3 million dollars according to the Halladay Standard. However, there was a clear dropoff from his Braves career to his Dodger career. In 6 years for each team, he posted a 19.2 WAR in ATL, and 12.5 WAR (worth 6.25 million) in LA. In 2011, he had a -.5 WAR in LA, and a 1.4 WAR (only 50 games, in a season of 150 games, that would average out to be a 4.2 WAR) with St. Louis after he was traded, giving him a .9 WAR overall. His career offensive numbers look exactly like this: .756 OPS, .313 BABIP, .348 OBP, .535 O/Win %, .261 Secondary Average, and a 93.66 Pitches per Starter (PPS). In 2011: .298 OBP, 646 OPS, .240 BABIP, .480 O/Win%, .213 Sec. Avg., and 85.28 PPS. 2011 in St.Louis: .316 OBP, 735 OPS, .250 BABIP, .511 O/Win %, .260 Sec. Avg., 88.59 PPS. As you can tell, even his St. Louis numbers aren't very impressive. He is supposed to be a leadoff hitter but he has an extremely poor PPS and OBP for the 2011 season. For his career he has a 1.3 PPG and 2.56 PAPP. As a Dodger in 2011: .89 PPG, and 3.71 PAPP, and as a Cardinal: 1.12 PPG, and 2.86 PAPP. His OBP (and PPS) isn't good enough for a leadoff hitter, but his production isn't good enough for a middle of the order guy. He is pretty hit or miss defensively (.2 WAR in his whole time in LA). He also has wild streaks of inconsistency, and some real flat tire seasons (perhaps because he isn't consistently patient, as the metrics show). 2011 was a pretty bad season, and the has has to be that 1) he is able to return to his 2010 .366 OBP season and 2) he is undervalued in the market because of his poor 2011 season. The uncertainty of those two questions is what makes free agency exciting, and spending a lot of money on one player dangerous (for my money, I wouldn't count on his 2010 season repeating, advanced metrics like BABIP, ISO, and Sec. Avg. were all above his career average, while his Pit/PA was barely above his career average), and one can probably find a better cheaper hitter.

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