Albies vs. Furcal

The Braves may have another star young shortstop on their hands in Low-A.

Ozhaino Albies is really 18 years old, and he's tearing up the South Atlantic League. He's leading the SAL in hits, is third in batting average, tied for fifth in stolen bases and ninth in on base percentage.

Sixteen years ago the Braves thought they had another 18-year-old prospect in the Sally League. Rafael Furcal also put up tremendous numbers, but a few years later we would discover Furcal was actually three years older than originally believed.

But it's easy to wonder if the Braves have another Furcal-type player on their hands in Albies, who was the best player in the Appalachian League last season and may get that label again this season in the South Atlantic League.

Albies has played in 56 games. He's hitting .323 with an on base percentage of .383. He also has 74 hits and 21 stolen bases.

Furcal played in 83 games before he was promoted to High-A, but when he was in Macon Furcal hit .337 with a .417 on base percentage and 73 stolen bases. It wasn't long until Furcal was in Atlanta and would take over as the starting shortstop.

Those numbers are somewhat similar, but knowing Albies is three years younger than what Furcal was in the Sally League makes it even more impressive.

The Braves are fortunate in they do not have to rush Albies, who has Andrelton Simmons above him at the position in Atlanta. But if Albies continues to rise on the prospect list, will Simmons be locked into his position by the time Sun Trust Park opens?

Listen to "The Bill Shanks Show" from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and e-mail him at

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