It doesn't matter whether you're talking fantasy baseball or real baseball, there's one player who stands out as being the most valuable overall player in the game. Gold Glove caliber defensive player, 26 years old. Career high 32 home runs and 20 stolen bases. A power/speed combo rare at any position, let alone a shortstop. Troy Trevor Tulowitzki. This season though, luck just hasn't been on his side.
A .245 BABIP compared to career average .310. His HR/FB rate is currently sitting at 13.6% as opposed to an average of 17.8% the past two seasons.
A look at his splits yields some interesting information.
A career .305 hitter at Coors Field and .270 on the road. But this year he's sitting at .238 at home and .280 on the road.
For his career he has slugged .533 at home and .456 on the road. So far this season? .429 at home and .520 on the road. Now if Tulowitzki can keep up his .280/.364/.520 line on the road and improve his performance at Coors, even just return to his career .305/.375/.533 slash line, you're looking at one hell of a season from a shortstop who makes the patented leaping "Derek Jeter play" in the hole look easy.
I forgot to mention that somehow through this unlucky streak Tulo has cut his K% exactly in half, from 16.6% in 2010 to 8.3% thus far in 2011. His walks are slightly up and he already has 11 home runs.
Month-by-month, career splits. It's currently the 9th day of June and Tulo sits at .261/.335/.478, actually slightly positive compared to his career average. He already has 11 home runs, is walking like he normally does but is striking out half as often as he did last season, has suffered through terrible luck, and is actually in perfect position to have another incredible season.
If Tulo plays according to career splits, he will finish with an excellent season. If Tulo gets lucky (because yes, even sometimes the great get lucky), he could post some truly gaudy numbers. If he sported a .390 BABIP like Brett Wallace or Joey Votto, his numbers would be jaw-dropping. More evidence: even though he has only posted a BABIP lower than .300 for a season once, his career BABIP in March/April is .265 and .289 in May.
He's a second-half hitter, and is just starting to hit his stride. Seven runs batted in in his past two games, this is right around the time Troy Tulowitzki has historically taken his game to another level, and if he is the beneficiary of BABIP, his season could be historic.
Current fantasy numbers: 29 R, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 4 SB
Total season prediction:115 R, 38 HR, 120 RBI, 12 SB
In my opinion, Troy Tulowitzki is the best player in the world today and yet he won't play his 30 year-old season until 2015. A Hall of Fame shortstop who hasn't hit his prime yet, Troy Tulowitzki is worth the price of admission alone for fans around the country.