Denver, CO – After another loss Friday night to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Colorado Rockies have lost 8 of their last 10 and are currently sitting with a record of 13-18. Yes, the pitching has been absolutely atrocious so far. Yes, guys like Dexter Fowler, Todd Helton, and anyone playing third base are hitting below .250. And yes, only one regular every day player is hitting above .300 (Carlos Gonzalez). But it’s another player, to me, who has to take a lot of the blame for this bad start in 2012. That guy is the captain of our Rockies, and fan favorite, Troy Tulowitzki.
Before this season began, the MLB Network asked every Major Leaguer to vote for who they thought were the best players in baseball today. It was called their “Top 100″, much like what the NFL has done the past few years. Troy Tulowitzki was voted as the 4th best player in MLB. 4th! Not 4th best Shortstop, but 4th best player, at any position. That says to me he is viewed as being elite, as a true superstar in the game today. But is he? Is he really that great, or is it a perception because he is a good looking guy, 6’4″, and at times makes sparkling plays defensively? If you just merely look at his numbers, being ranked #4 is ridiculous and just flat out wrong. Is he a really good player? Yes. Is he overrated? Even though I am a big Colorado Rockies fan, the answer to that is….yes.
Troy Tulowitzki is making $8.2 million in 2012. He also signed a long term extension that will keep him in Denver through 2020. He is also scheduled to make more than $8.2 million each year for the rest of his contract. That is big money, and the kind of coin for someone who simply should be playing better than he currently is. Through 31 games so far, he is hitting .276, with 3 HR’s and 13 RBI. Those are offensive numbers that you would expect from your second or third outfielder by now, not your stud shortstop. He also has committed 7 errors, which at this pace would have him at roughly 37 errors by years end. That is an awful number for a player who is considered great defensively. What may be a bigger problem than any, is the simple fact that he is just not clutch at the plate. Never has been, really. Todd Helton has already produced a few late game heroics this year that will be remembered for a long time by Rockies fans. Todd is no longer the leader of this team, Troy is. Tulo has put up some good career numbers so far, but they are what I like to call “hollow numbers”. These are stats put up when the game is not on the line, when it really doesn’t matter. I don’t know why he hasn’t been “clutch”, but the Rockies will go as Troy goes. Players like Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer can and will have hot streaks, but this team will go as far as Tulo takes em, which so far is 4th place in the NL West.
Is Troy Tulowitzki a superstar? In Rockies fans eyes, probably yes. They tend to look through purple colored glasses though. The numbers tell a very different story, however. If he is the 4th best player in the game today, he isn’t playing like it. If this kind of play continues from him, Colorado won’t even come close to sniffing the playoffs come October. Troy has all the tools to be phenomenal, no question about it. As at stands now though, he is just a very average player on a bad team.
Denver Sports by J Simp