Tulowitzki putting together MVP-Caliber Season

Can Tulowitzki keep Colorado in the Race?

6/6/13 in MLB   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

May 25, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) connects in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Giants won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY SportsWhen healthy, I think you can make a solid case that Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowizki is the second best position player in the game.  After Miguel Cabrera, the list gets a bit fuzzy.  Albert Pujols has been rapidly falling down the rankings and Josh Hamilton seems to be going down with him.  Ryan Braun of course warrants some consideration, as does Buster Posey and maybe a few others, but health-concerns aside, after Cabrera I’m not sure if there’s any position player I’d rather have on my team than Tulo.
 
Injuries have haunted the Rockies infield captain almost from the beginning of his MLB career.  In his six seasons in the league, he’s played 140 games just three times, never suiting up more than his 155 games in 2007, his first full year in the bigs.
 
In 2010, he was in the midst of a great season, when a broken wrist cut him down to 122 games, but he still finished with 27 homers, 95 RBIs, and a .315 batting average.  He’s a career .296 hitter and in his last three seasons of 120+ games, he’s notched a minimum of 27 homers and 92 RBIs.
 
But then there’s the defensive side of the game, where Tulowitzki stars in the hardest non-catcher position on the field, shortstop.  He has great range and makes very few mistakes: only 55 errors in 807 career games at shortstop.
 
The Rockies only have 3 postseason appearances in their 20-year existence.  Tulowitzki was a member of 2 of those teams, the 2007 club that lost to the Red Sox in the World Series and the 2009 team that was ousted by the Phillies.  But despite those 2 big seasons, the Tulowitzki era has also seen some unfortunate lows.
 
Last year was the worst regular season statistically in Rockies history.  Finishing 64-98, the Rockies won only 39.5% of their games (41.4% was their previous low).
 
Roster-wise, the 2013 team isn’t too different from the 2012 one.  But the health of Troy Tulowitzki and a few other assets have helped turn things around.
 
Putting himself right in the front of National League MVP discussion, Tulowitzki is first in the NL in batting average (.349), third in home runs (15), second in RBI’s (48) and first in OPS (1.063).
 
And most importantly, the Rockies are right in the thick of both the NL West and Wild Card races.  Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez have formed one of the most dangerous hitting duos in the majors so far and the team’s bullpen has greatly exceeded expectations.  With the surprising struggles in San Francisco and Washington, maybe the Colorado Rockies will find themselves playing some extra baseball this season and if they do, you can bet Tulo’s name will be thrown around in top MVP consideration.
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