Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

2012 position preview: Shortstop

In an effort to put a stop in their revolving door at shortstop, the Cardinals signed their late-season stop-gap Rafael Furcal to a two-year, $14 million contract last winter. It might’ve been a bit much for the switch hitter, who was once the best shortstop in the league (2005) but whose skills have succumbed to age and injury since. Fangraphs’ fans project Furcal to produce 2.0 WAR this year, which is nothing to write home about. (For the record, the fans project erstwhile Cardinal shortstop Brendan Ryan — making $1 million this year — at 2.1 WAR.) Still, it’s more than last-year’s main shortstop, Ryan Theriot, turned in (0.7). In 2011, Theriot, Furcal (0.9) and Tyler Greene (0.1) combined to produce that much.

Cardinal fans can’t expect too much from Furcal this year. Perhaps the single-biggest success criterion is that he simply stay healthy most of the year.
Rating relative to last year: unchanged

Comparison within division

Player Team WAR
Starlin Castro CHC 4.6
Zack Cozart CIN 3.7
Jed Lowrie HOU 2.7
Clint Barmes PIT 2.2
Rafael Furcal STL 2.0
Alex Gonzalez MIL 1.5

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