- Denver, CO – 5 years into his career, Troy Tulowitzki and his many followers can’t exactly be disappointed at this point. He is just 27 years old, and is widely regarded as the most well rounded shortstop in the Major Leagues today. The masses of fans that go through the turnstiles at Coors Field love Tulo, and the guy can do it all on the field. He can hit, hit for power, run the bases well, and is a fabulous defensive player with a freakishly great right arm. Tulo is now entering the prime of his career, which is typically those years between 27-32 for a ball player. He has put up some nice numbers, and even been to the World Series in his first full season back in ’07. This may be hard to digest for you Rockies fans, but it’s actually a compliment for the all star shortstop….Tulo can be so much better….and 2012 needs to be the year that he realizes his immense potential.
6’3″, 215 lbs….you probably don’t think of a shortstop, do you? That is the height and weight of Tulo, who is one of the biggest shortstops to EVER play the position. He has been compared to Cal Ripken, Jr because of his similar size and skill set. Ripken, of course, is in the Hall of Fame, and is considered one of the greatest shortstops of all time. It’s interesting to compare both players average yearly stats, as it shows what kind of company Troy could end being part of. Ripken’s career batting average was .276, Tulo’s is .293. Ripken averaged almost 21 HR’s per year, Tulo is averaging 24. Ripken averaged 152 hits per year, Tulo is at 154. Ripken averaged 81 RBI per year, Tulo has averaged 88. Scarily similar isn’t it? Troy Tulowitzki is on pace to be one of the greatest at his position of all time. Having said this, he can be so much better.
The one concern Rockies fans should have going forward is injuries. Tulo has been on the DL for an extended period 3 different times in his 5 year career. He has great range, and is a very athletic player, which lends itself to getting hurt more often than most players. It is a possibility at some point down the road, Troy could eventually be moved to 3rd base, which happens to a lot of shortstops as they get up in years. If he can manage to avoid the injury bug, Tulo has all the tools to put up a monster year, THIS YEAR. He has the internal drive to be great, and truly wants to put this team on his back and carry it to a World Series title. .330 batting average, 40 home runs, 120 RBI……these are lofty numbers, but there is no reason why this guy can’t do it.
This is a critical year for Tulowitzki. The Rockies started off 2011 like a house on fire, but fizzled in May and never recovered. All teams are bound to go through slumps, but it’s up to the superstar and leader to come up big and end losing streaks. Tulo didn’t do that last year. Countless times, Troy had opportunities in crucial moments to win games at the plate. It just simply didn’t happen. He needs to produce when the game is on the line, and not just put up hollow stats when it doesn’t matter. All of baseballs legends have had those great signature moments we all think of, and Tulo needs to start creating his own.