After a terrific April, Troy Tulowitzki has been named the NL player of the month. Based on how well Tulo has been swinging the bat, I don’t think anyone is surprised. He has long been a great hitter, but I don’t know if anyone expected this. I certainly didn’t. In a healthy first month, Tulowitzki put up Babe Ruth-esque numbers. Literally. He’s now hitting .400 on the nose, and, thanks to his terrific walk rate, he has an on base percentage of .500. That’s incredible. The power numbers have also been there. Tulo’s .330 ISO power (from Fangraphs) is second only to rookie sensation Jose Abreu. He has seven homers, 18 total extra base hits, and 221 wRC+. Remember, the average is 100, so Troy Tulowitzki has created 121% more runs than the average player. Wow. And he’s also been his normal self defensively, with 10 defensive runs saved, second most in all of baseball. Add it all up, and Troy Tulowitzki has a Fangraphs WAR of 2.6 and a Baseball Reference WAR of 3.3. Both are tops in baseball, even over Mike Trout. That means he’s on pace for a 13-17 WAR season.
Ok, enough of the stats. Above all, Troy Tulowitzki is just a really fun player to watch. He hustles, he makes plays defensively, and you always feel like something good is going to happen when he is at the plate. This year, it basically always have. People are going to say that it’s a small sample size, and Tulo is bound to crash back to normal levels, although normal levels for him is better than most players can dream of. I understand the small sample size argument, and it makes a ton of sense. But when it comes to Tulo, it feels like he can do anything. Will he hit .400 for the whole season? No, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he did. Will he be the best player in baseball for the whole season? Probably not, but I wouldn’t raise an eyebrow if he is. And that, more than anything, is proof that Troy Tulowitzki is an amazing baseball player. It feels like anything is possible, which isn’t something one can say for many players.
In the end, it’s always going to come down to health. Tulowitzki is the best shortstop in baseball, but he’s also had a career full of injuries. If he plays 160 games, I think he could well win NL MVP and lead baseball in WAR. Anyway, all of that is moot right now. All that matters is that he’s healthy now, and he’s the best player in baseball right now. He’s also been the hands-down best player on a surprisingly competitive Rockies team. So with all of that in mind, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Tulo fully deserves this NL Player of the Month award. Could the MVP be next?