Braves All-Time Team: Modern Shortstops

I’m going to declare a winner in center field:

CF Murphy

It’s still rather close between him and Andruw, but I don’t see it changing, and there’s too little support for anyone else for a runoff to change much.

Shortstop was a virtual four-way tie. I figure we’ll have a playoff. First up, Jeff Blauser versus Rafael Furcal.

Rafael Furcal
Jeff Blauser

Furcal gets the edge in speed and probably defense. Blauser had more power. Both missed time with injuries, Blauser probably more. Blauser’s 1991-92 stats are perhaps skewed from being sporadically “platooned”; Belliard, another righthander, would often start against righties, especially in 1991. The overall run-scoring environment was lower in Blauser’s career, but the ballpark was better to hit in.


21 thoughts on “Braves All-Time Team: Modern Shortstops”

  1. Since Rabbit didn’t make the cut, I’ll go with Furcal. Before this season I probably would have said Blauser based on longetivity, but to me Furcal’s glovework this season tips the balance to him. Simply put, I believe he’s playing the best shortstop in my 30 years of watching the Braves.

  2. This is off topic. The Phillies are 5-2 this season against the Cards. They are also 1/2 a game back of the Astros. I think we need to pull for the Phill’s to pull it out.

  3. This really works in favor of Furcal as watching him in the last two months really shows that he is capable of being a great all around shortstop. Blauser never brought as much importance to the offense as Furcal does when they were both at their best. And defensively, I don’t I have ever seen a better arm at short.

  4. The second vote will be Maranville versus Long. The results of that poll had Blauser 24%, Maranville 23, Furcal 20, Long 18. Too close for me to call a winner. So it’s a playoff, the winner of this will meet the winner of Maranville-Long.

  5. Blau-dude (as he was called at my house) was one of the better hitting shortstops in the league. Furcal’s power isn’t as good as Jeff’s, but his everything else is far better. Clake is right, no one in baseball has the arm Furcal does.

    Do we re-sign him after ths year? I bet the Cubs throw him a ton of money, if they don’t I think we can get him and maybe for a home town discount.

  6. I’m somewhat reluctantly voting for Furcal. Blauser was one of my favorite early 90s players, and I definitely think Furcal is overrated… but he’s still been better for, and more important to, the team overall.

    The problem with re-signing Furcal is that his departure represents some important financial relief. If you keep him, you have to take his salary back plus a good chunk of Kolb’s and Eddie’s 5+ total. It may ultimately be a choice between Furcal and Giles (since he’s due a nice raise), and I know for sure which I’d chose.

  7. We need to try and resign him, if only because there isn’t thing else out there. Furcal maybe frustrating at times, but given what else is out there and what he have waiting in the minors, he’s our best bet.

  8. I would offer Furcal arb and maybe a one or two year deal at above-market salary. I don’t want him for more than a few years, but in the short term I don’t want Little Tony Pena out there *shudder*.

  9. I’d let Furcal go. If the team would increase the budget by 25%, sure make him an offer. But I’d rather the team spend the money on Giles or LF or a relief pitcher than Furcal, and let Betemit play short.

  10. Too bad the Braves can’t find someone willing to take on Hampton’s salary. Enough starters to fill the void and then the Braves could keep Furcal and get upgrade another position. What were they thinking when they took on that salary?

  11. I bet we can get the Yankees to take him in the winter. If not maybe we can get Griffey for him or something

  12. Along with the money the team has supposedly set aside, he’s not at all untradable if he’s healthy. Hopefully that will be less of an “if” a month or so down the road. It seems unlikely to me me, though. Hampton was the designated left-handed replacement for Glavine. I would expect the team to look for a middle-of-the-rotation lefty to replace Hampton, and I don’t know who that would be. I know Chuck James is on fire right now, but I wouldn’t realistically expect a rookie to be enough to satsify that need (real or imagined). And I think everybody must know by now that Horacio won’t cut it.

  13. Oh, wait… this is supposed to be about short-stops. Oops. Maybe we should take this back to the last game thread?

  14. Furcal. Defensively, Blauser was solid, but not spectacular, Furcal, spectacular but erratic, at least until this season. Offensively, Blauser had a couple of very good seasons, but I’d rather have Furcal leading off.

  15. 10 Years ago, Blauser mader more than Furcal is making this year, and that was beacuse he showed up to play in the prior contract year (He did the same in 1997, but the Braves weren’t buying it a 2nd time). He never really lived up to the expectations of the Braves, being he was a 1st round pick twice. If there was a Braves Journal back in 1992-1994, you would see some entries very similar to what was being written about Furcal during his early season slump this year.

    Blauser wasn’t even the everyday SS until ’93.

  16. What? No Gil Garrido?

    Gil is my all-time fav Braves’ SS, but I have to say Raffy is probably the best one we’ve had since I started watching back in the Paleozoic Era.

    Blauser and Johnny Logan are pretty much the same guy, with Blauser being the better hitter of the two by a bit.

  17. Blauser hit .305 .401 .436 in 1993; if anyone had been calling for his head he would have been slapped down. He was pretty good in 1991-92 and in 1996, then the contract year in 1997. In his down years, he wasn’t any worse than Furcal was in 2001-02. Neither guy ever put up an established level of performance.

  18. I think Hampton has a no-trade clause in his contract. Mac, do you remember? He is not going anywhere guys, perhaps he will be traded in our dream or in our PS2 game…

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