Unless your name is Mike Trout, it’s not the easiest of tasks garnering positive attention if you play your home games in the western half of the United States. However, Troy Tulowitzki has stepped up and shown that getting that type of attention is absolutely no issue if you’re off to the type of start that he is. We’re only about to hit the midway point of the month of May, but Tulo is looking like the runaway favorite for the National League Most Valuable Player Award.
It’s been said all over, whether through the mainstream media or in the blogosphere: A healthy Troy Tulowitzki is as good a player as there is in Major League Baseball. It’s that health aspect that has held Tulo back, particularly in the last couple of years, including a 2012 campaign in which he only appeared in 47 games. But early on, the Colorado Rockies are in the middle of a division race in the National League West, with Tulo serving as the primary reason as to how/why.
Tulowitzki’s numbers, even early on, are absolutely absurd. He’s slashing .421/.522/.794/1.317 and has gone for a .374 ISO and a 242 wRC+. His strikeout rate is much lower than his career average, and his walk rate, up over 17 percent, is higher. His .419 BABIP certainly helps too. All of those numbers paint an incredible picture for his start, but those last two are absolutely stellar. Of course, they’ll come down as the sample size becomes larger.
A large part of what has made Tulowitzki so successful is playing his home games at Coors Field. He’s asserted his dominance at home in an absolutely ridiculous fashion to this point. He’s hitting .608 at Coors, and reaching base overall at a .677 clip. Even more ridiculous, he’s 18 for his last 21 with runners on base. He’s hitting .561 on the season with runners on overall, and .545 when they’re in scoring position.
Obviously those numbers are going to see a decline as the season wears on. Not only is it unreasonable to expect it, the fact that his road numbers leave a bit to be desired should help to level the playing field quite a bit. After all, he’s “only” OPSing .895 away from Coors Field.
Tulo’s WAR on the season is already at 3.3, setting him up to shatter the career mark he’s set in that department, which was a 5.9 back in 2010. He’s doing it with the bat and the glove as well, adding elite defense at a premium defensive position to the equation. His UZR per 150 innings is nearly 22 at this point.
Plain and simple, Troy Tulowitzki is just on another planet right now. He’s doing crazy things at the plate, and dazzling us with the glove. As long as he remains healthy, a tall order for him to fill given the last few seasons, he’s absolutely going to be in the mix for the MVP Award. If he maintains anywhere near this pace while staying off the disabled list, he’s going to sprint away with it.