Troy Tulowitzki has worked his way up his positional rankings every season since his Major League debut. Entering 2011, he is now in the discussion with Hanley Ramirez as the best fantasy shortstop in all of baseball. If you look at his per game averages over his career he is one of the scariest hitters in baseball. Even though owners should never expect another month like he had last September, that is still just a glimpse of the type of production he could give owners over the next several seasons. Tulo is just entering the prime of his career and could put up multiple 40 homer years along with nearly 20 steals and an average around 300.
There are two reasons not to take Tulo ahead of Hanley Ramirez just yet. Over his career, Tulo has been a very slow starter. However, last year, for the first time in his career, he hit over 300 in both April and May. Patience will be very important for those who buy in on Tulo this year. Like most Rockies, he has had some struggles on the road as well. Slumps are a part of baseball and every player will go through it. Tulo’s real test is staying in the lineup. In four seasons, he has struggled to stay avoid injuries. His career high is 155 games played and, while that is a very strong total, he has only played 150 twice. For a first round pick, that is something to worry about.
I am buying in on Tulo this year, and have him in my top 5 for single season leagues. Simply put, he is the best per game player in baseball. Although it is easy to say he is injury-prone, he has never had the same injury twice. Staying healthy and playing every day takes some luck. He is just hitting his prime and I think he will pick up right where he left off. Don’t be surprised if he runs a little less, to stay in the lineup more, but I think it is realistic to expect a career year across every other major hitting category.
2011 projection: 576 abs, 306 avg, 36 hrs, 113 rbi, 17 sbs, 103 runs