Tulowitzki’s Revival

As you’ve probably heard, the Colorado Rockies have gotten hot lately, surging to a 37-34 record after starting the year as one of the worst teams in baseball. New manager Jim Tracy has been given a significant amount of the credit, as the team started winning right after he took over from Clint Hurdle, but there’s one really obvious reason why the Rockies are winning that has nothing to do with Jim TracyTroy Tulowitzki has been the best hitter in baseball this month.

After some pedestrian performances in April and May on the heels of a 2008 season that was one long struggle, questions about TT’s ability to hit began to gain momentum. Was he just a product of Coors Field? A flash in the pan who peaked early? A good glove that can only hit mistake pitches?

No, no, and no. After hitting two more home runs last night, Tulowitzki is hitting .373/.466/.797 in June, and only Albert Pujols has hit more home runs this month. His .508 wOBA since the end of May is the best in baseball. When you’re getting this much offense from the shortstop position, it’s going to make it pretty easy to put runs on the board and win some ballgames.

Tulowitzki has raised his entire offensive game this year. His walk rate is up to 13.8%, well above his previous career high of 9.4%, thanks to a more patient approach that has him swinging at less pitches out of the strike zone. Despite shifting to a more walks-and-power offensive attack, his contact rate is actually at a career high as well. That’s an impressive combination.

Despite a slow start, Tulowitzki has already racked up a +1.7 win value for the season, and is re-establishing himself as one of the better players in the game. His success in June is the main reason that Colorado has turned the corner and started playing well. Sorry, Jim Tracy, but at least you get to go along for the ride.

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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

10 Responses to “Tulowitzki’s Revival”

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  1. mike says:

    I am curious to know what was Tulo’s walk rate before he went on this torrid streak in June?

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    • Paul says:

      I don’t remember the exact numbers but I have been following his season pretty closely (as a fan and a fantasy owner) and his walk rate has been more or less like this all year (above his career avg).

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  2. Davidceisen says:

    Isn’t Tulowitzki supposed to be a rangy short stop? His career RangR is currently standing at -2.5, though in 2007 his RangR was 7.0. Are his numbers off or is the perception of him off?

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  3. brian says:

    Last night he homered on back-to-back at bats off Sean O’Sullivan. In his first at bat, he fouled off two pitches and drew a walk. In his second at bat, the first pitch went behind his head, and he then launched the second pitch well into the bullpen area. In the third at bat, he took a called strike, then smacked an inside fastball around shoulder-level off the fair pole in left. Pretty impressive.

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  4. wobatus says:

    Kinda like his hot second half in 2007 but in spades. gee, didn’t the Rockies go on a huge late season run in 2007, under Hurdle. Hmm.

    Rockies also have some pitchers with some decent fips who had not been pitching into luck until the run.

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  5. Alireza says:

    Tulo’s only offensive weapon earlier in the season was that he was taking walks. Seems to have been a prelude to his new style, which fits his skillset.

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  6. miked says:

    a little credit to tracy… hes the one who help tulo on his approach at the plate bc he was striking out a bunch and after spending a weekend on the bench with a minor wrist injury he been smoking hot. also the fact that they have a healthy todd helton swinging a hot bat and a guy named brad hawpe who is just crushing the ball all season.. almost forgot about chris ianetta who i think has ridiculus power in the catcher position.. the rockies look like a very scary team 1-8 (and 1-9 when marquis is on the mound lol.)

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  7. Julian says:

    Tulowitzki’s ’08 was a strange one. He “improved” from ’07 on every pitch except the fastball which basically ate him alive. Now he’s back to hitting the fastball and with it back to being an offensive asset.

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  8. Nick says:

    … and he’s on my BoaB team.

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