Key Stats: Troy Tulowitzki was the best player from June 1 on last year. He was a top 20 player according to Yahoo every month from June on last season a feat that was accomplished by no other player. In fact only Prince Fielder was a top 50 player for all four months during that stretch in all of baseball. For head to head leagues, you could make the argument that Tulo was the most valuable player to own last season.
Skeptics Say: The 5 home runs and back to back sub.250 average that Tulo had in April and May could continue to be a plague for Tulo this year. In each of his first three big league seasons, Tulo’s worst month has been April. Aside from the slow start, Tulo is also not nearly as good as a player on the road. His average was 60 points worse away from Coors and his OPS was 130 points worse.
Peer Comparison: If he showed up in the season’s first two months last year he would have been a top five player. It isn’t that much of a stretch to think that Tulo will be effective all season long. Compared to the players across his position he doesn’t bring nearly as much of a risk or uncertainty to the table. Here’s the other top players as they were ranked here:
Hanley Ramirez – He had his third straight season with a decrease in steals and was bolstered last year by a career best batting average that came as a result of a career best BABIP.
Jose Reyes – The Mets curse. The thyroid. The hamstring. When you take away the Hulk’s ability to get angry, you take away the hulk and when you take away a leg of a base stealer, you take away the base stealer.
Ben Zobrist (SS at Yahoo only) – Ryan Ludwick came out of nowhere in 2008. He pretty much went back to nowhere in 2009. When a player rises from obscurity as Zobrist did it’s easy to question the legitimacy of it.
Derek Jeter, Jimmy Rollins – Jeter showed his age in 2008 and Rollins is in the midst of three straight years in decline.
Lineup Outlook: There is no hitter that I’m more excited about than Carlos Gonzalez. He has everything that I like from a sleeper. He has only a limited amoung of experience, he plays in a hitters park, his spot in the order is safe, he was a highly regarded prospect, and he showed significant improvement as the season went along. It’s actually quite similar to the run of Matt Holliday in 2005 before he ultimately became a top 10 player in 2006. Brad Hawpe, Todd Helton, etc. are nice pieces, but if Tulo is going to make the pass on Hanley this year look for CarGo to be the key reason why in the Rockies lineup.
Projection: Tulo will be more consistent, but less explosive this season. With a full season of good health it will add up to better overall numbers.
97 R 31 HR 109 RBI 22 SB .301 AVG .922 OPS
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