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MLB Colorado Rockies

Rant Sports MLB Top 50 Players of 2014: No. 30 Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

If not for major injury concerns in previous seasons, Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki probably would have been ranked in the top-10 or 15 players, rather than 30. When healthy, Tulo is obviously one of the best players in baseball and is definitely the best shortstop offensively. Defensively, Tulowitzki is also in the top tier, but is not quite the best.

2013 was one of Tulowitzki’s best overall seasons, just behind his outstanding 2010 season in which he put up a 140 wRC+ in 122 games. Last year, Tulo hit for a .312/.391/.540 slash line with a 143 wRC+. He still played in only 126 games, but was able to hit 25 home runs.

As a shortstop, Tulo is a very rare breed. There aren’t many 6-foot-3 shortstops that hit for a great combination of average and power while also playing amazing defense. Shortstop, much like second base, is a position that lacks offensive threats. Also, for those of you who might be thinking that Tulowitzki’s numbers are inflated from playing his home games at Coors Field, you are wrong — for the most part.

Like most players, Tulo’s statistics are better at home, but his road stats are still very good. In 2013, he hit for a .342/.427/.582 slash line at home while hitting for a .281/.352/.498 line on the road.

Tulowitzki ranks sixth among MLB shortstops with a 7.6 UZR/150 and fifth with a 6.6 UZR. He obviously has great range, but his arm may be what separates him from the rest of the pack. Tulowitzki definitely has one of the strongest and most accurate arms among shortstops.

When looking around baseball, it is very hard to find many better overall position players than the Rockies’ superstar shortstop. His rare combination of power, speed and defense truly makes him one of the most valuable players in the league.