Jul 9, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) during the game against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
As the season gets underway, RoxPile.com is making some fun (but completely unqualified!) predictions about how members of the Colorado Rockies will fare this summer. In this edition: Troy Tulowitzki.
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What would the #RoxCrystalBall series be if it didn’t start off with the Rockies’ best player?
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is key to the team; Colorado will go as far as Tulo will take them, and with his injury history, sometimes that hasn’t been very far.
He’s played just 91, 126, and 47 games in the past three years, respectively. When he’s on the field, he’s incredible. When he’s injured… the team completely changes. If the Rockies can get a healthy Tulo for at least 140 games this year, watch out. But if not, things will get very ugly, very quickly.
What The Numbers Say
FanGraphs lists various projection systems, which you can learn more about here.
Tulo’s projections on FanGraphs are pessimistic about the number of games he’ll play, with none of them listing him above 125 games, though each is relatively near the ZiPS slash line projection of .313/.389/.553. Similarly, all systems point to 22-26 home runs and another 23-27 doubles
That’d be a nice year for Tulo from a productivity standpoint, but it feels low considering what he did in 91 games last year. Plus, playing 110-120 games probably isn’t enough to make the Rockies more interesting than what we all think they will be.
Call to the Pen
In a best-case scenario, Tulo plays more than 140 games, wins the National League MVP Award, and leads the Rockies to a high-70s win total.
He (and Carlos Gonzalez) are difference makers regardless of how poor the pitching will be this summer, and they can both lead a lineup to score runs in spite of a bad rotation.
Tulo alone won’t make the Rockies relevant in the NL West.
Nevertheless, a full season from him can go a long way to putting the Rockies on the right track, quieting the trade talk, and getting the club back to what it looked like it was going to be before 2011.
Obviously, missing any more than 30 games is probably a worst-case scenario.
It’s a sliding scale, too; if he misses 40 games, it won’t be as bad as being out for 90 games, of course, but if we see Tulo play less than 130 games this summer, this club is in all kinds of trouble and Tulo’s future in Denver becomes even more confusing.
I feel like being (very) bullish on Tulo. I think the FanGraphs projections are all low, even if he only plays 130 games.
His age-30 season is the year for him to transition from a very, very good player who can’t stay healthy to the best everyday player in the game of baseball (er, I hope).
I think he’s sick of the injury criticism and sick of the trade talk. He’s ready to prove to everyone (and most importantly, himself) just how good he can be.
My (completely biased) crystal ball calls for an MVP and a Gold Glove this year for Troy Tulowitzki across 145 games with 30+ home runs and 30+ doubles.
Give us your predictions!