Rockies’ Player of the Year: Troy Tulowitzki


2014 was not a good year for the Colorado Rockies, but there were some bright spots. The player of the year is again shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

I wanted to make an exciting, sexy pick for Player of the Year. I considered the Rockies’ two youngest stars in Corey Dickerson and Nolan Arenado, and those two will probably rack up accolades going forward. This year, though, there’s no debate: despite playing just over half the season before again getting injured, Troy Tulowitzki was the Rockies’ best player in 2014.

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The year started amazingly, both for Tulowitzki and the Rockies. Tulo came into the season healthy and scorching, hitting .381 with seven homers in April. But given that we already knew all about Tulo’s amazingness, we paid more attention to Charlie Blackmon‘s April, in which he hit .389 with five homers.

Troy Tulowitzki started getting national recognition (as in MVP buzz) for the fantastic year he was having in May. While Blackmon slowed down, Tulo kept raking and pushed his average above .400, keeping it there for about half of May. He was so good at home (at one point he was 31 for 51 at home, or hitting .610) that during a series with the Giants in Coors field, Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow accused him of stealing signs.

Of course, in his next series in San Francisco, he went 4 for 8 with a homer, so maybe Krukow just underestimated how good Tulo is. And by the way, Mr. Krukow, Tulowitzki had the second-best road OPS among shortstops (.811).

Had the season ended at the end of June, Troy Tulowitzki would have been the clear MVP. Not only was he hitting .353 with 18 homers in just about half the season but he was also proving his defensive value with plays like this. That double-play was a top-10 web gem even as season’s end, but it wasn’t a fluke, as Tulowitzki and second baseman D.J. LeMahieu both proved to be terrific middle infielders.

It’s become difficult for Troy Tulowitzki to play to the lofty expectations he now garners. That’s why people were so upset that he got injured again in mid July, coincidentally (we think) just days after he competed in the Home Run Derby, which some sluggers have denied to participate in.

Players who are given the “injury prone” label often never live it down, and Tulo failed to play much more than half the season for the second time in three years.

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Maybe it’s because he didn’t play after July 19th, but it seems as if people have kind of forgotten how great Tulo was this season. In fact, it can be argued that this year was his best, even though he played in just 91 games. His numbers – .340/.432/.603 with 21 homers and 71 runs scored and 50 walks to go along with his 57 strikeouts – are made even more impressive by the fact that he stepped up to the plate just 375 times.

Tulowitzki posted a Fangraphs WAR over five for the sixth time in his career, although the six win barrier has proven elusive to crack. It’s worth noting that Tulo and his 5.1 WAR was worth two whole wins more than Nolan Arenado and was twice as valuable as Corey Dickerson.

In half a season, Troy Tulowitzki was not only consistent but was also able to make highlight reel plays at shortstop and at the plate, where he hit to all fields and had the power to hit shots to straightaway centerfield. He proved that he’s not only the best player on the Rockies but the best shortstop- easily- in all of baseball. Tulowitzki hit like Babe Ruth at home and was among the best shortstops in baseball defensively.

We take it for granted, but in an era in which it’s very hard to find middle infielders who can hit, the Rockies have the best one of all. His injury this season marred an otherwise perfect season, but his numbers are still impossible to ignore.

That’s why Troy Tulowitzki is the Rockies’ Player of the Year.

Next: Troy Tulowitzki Won't Be Traded, My Columns