The Other Half of Troy Tulowitzki Going

  • The best player in baseball to date has been Troy Tulowitzki. He made it to 4 WAR before every other player went to 3 WAR. Tulowitzki isnt the entire reason why the Rockies have been a pleasant surprise, but hes more accountable for their succe s than every other player is responsible for their own teams succe s, and as long as Tulowitzki has the capacity to stay on the field, he must resemble an MVP candidate. Healthy Tulowitzki is definitely an MVP candidate.

    Lets break that WAR down a little bit. Because the best player in baseball, Tulowitzki has been the very best hitter in baseball. Its correct that he spends half his time in a hitters paradise, but we've numbers that adjust for your, and also the adjustment is built into the fact. Probably the most conspicuous a part of Tulowitzkis hot streak has been his offensive productivity. You dont just overlook a .764 slugging percentage. But another thing thats true is the fact that Tulowitzki has been among the best defenders in baseball. Hes on track for any career-best UZR. Hes already in a dozen Defensive Runs Saved, after finishing this past year at +6. Weve long known that Tulowitzki is a good defensive shortstop, but thus far hes been out of his mind, just as hes been while at bat. So one wonders: just what has he been doing?

    This will rely on some Inside Edge data, and this is likely to look somewhat much like last weeks Tyler Johnstone Jersey piece about Andrelton Simmons. With Simmons, the concept was to explain the curiously modest DRS. With Tulowitzki, the concept would be to explain the curiously amazing DRS. What has he done, specifically, and just what might be learned all this?

    Let Connor Barwin Jersey s perform a super-quick review. Inside Edge cla sifies defensive plays. One cla sification doesn't seem po sible they are plays with a 0% chance of getting changed into outs. The following cla sification is Remote they are plays having a 1-10% po sibility of getting changed into outs, within the opinion from the observer. The entire list:

    Impo sible (0%)Remote (1-10%)Unlikely (10-40%)Even (40-60%)Likely (60-90%)Routine (90-100%)

    The cla sifications are subjective, but they have a tendency to hold up pretty well. Indeed, remote plays are usually not provided. Routine plays are usually routine. This past year, Brandon Crawford led baseball with five remote plays turned into outs. The year before, Mike Moustakas had five, and Alcides Escobar had six. Between 2012-2013, Troy Tulowitzki converted just one single remote play. He converted six unlikely plays. He was a good shortstop, but he didnt make a habit of pulling off the extraordinary.

    This year, Tulowitzki has already converted four remote plays. Hes added a set of unlikely plays. The defensive numbers suggest Tulowitzki has been doing the near impo sible, and Inside Edge backs that up. Should you consider the plays counted against him, Tulowitzki has failed to convert a handful of impo sible plays, and 11 remote plays, and two even plays. Thats it. All of the easy stuff has been converted, all the slightly le s-easy stuff continues to be converted, and a lot of the difficult stuff continues to be converted. Tulowitzki still hasnt been charged with an error. He has gone nuts overall, performing at an overall superhuman level.

    So as with the Simmons post, lets take a look at some defensive plays. Here are Tulowitzkis six most difficult converted plays, in chronological order. As noted earlier, four of those were considered remote, and two were cla sified as unlikely. These plays really are a big reason Tulowitzkis defensive numbers are absurd. Basically, were partially deconstructing DRS and UZR, so you can begin to see the plays supporting the calculations.

    .Gif warning, incidentally. Its past too far, I suppose.

    Play No. 1

    From April 1, its a remote play, converted against a quick Marcell Ozuna. The B.J. Raji Jersey talent is instantly obvious. Tulo covered lots of ground, backhanded the ball cleanly, and threw over the infield in midair while falling away. Its the Derek Jeter play, when the Derek Jeter play involved range, and Ozuna was out by a fraction of a step. Its easy to see why this was valuable. Its also easy to see how this couldve gone differently. Notice that Tulowitzki was helped by the first baseman entering into foul territory while keeping his foot on the bag. With very little difference, this couldve been an infield single, that nobody wouldve blamed the shortstop.

    Play No. 2

    Hey, its kind of that same play again, this time on April 7, this time against a slower Jose Abreu. Its an insane backhand and an insane off-balance throw, but once more, you can see how this couldve been an RBI infield single. Tulos throw was mostly accurate, but it required both a stretch and a dig, since it would be a little off target and short-hopped Justin Morneau. Tulo did the majority of the effort, but Morneau completed the play, and for him it wasnt routine.

    Play No. 3

    The first two were considered remote this was considered unlikely. Neverthele s, Tulo designed a play Brian Folkerts Jersey behind second base and made another awkward throw to nail a runner by a fraction of the fraction of the second. Had the runner been someone other than Nick Hundley, he mightve been safe, but had the runner been someone apart from Nick Hundley, Tulowitzki mightve arranged differently. This play is simply nonsense. Also nonsense: the play that happened literally two pitches later.

    Play No. 4

    Right following the unlikely play on Hundley, there was this remote experience Robbie Erlin. Seriously, immediately after, separated by perhaps a minute. The ball took a funny bounce off the mound, requiring Tulowitzki to regulate his path immediately, after which he charged and bare-handed and also got the pitcher-runner with a blink. The throw, once again, wasnt perfect, however, you can forgive the imperfection, due to the perfection of everything else. Morneau needed to stretch, but stretch he did.

    Play No. 5

    An unlikely fielders choice, with Joaquin Arias batting on April 22. The stop was flawle s. The throw was flawle s. Tulowitzki didnt just save a run he recorded an out, on a ball that probably usually gets through. Stop and think for a moment about how difficult this is. Look away from the computer and imagine that youre Tulowitzki, doing this within this game. Wow, youre amazing!

    Play No. 6

    This is cla sified as remote, and Tulowitzki recorded not one out, but two. Hard part was the diving catch doubling off the runner was automatic, although it was cute from the runner to try. I will say Im not sure this was a 1-10% play; its easier to create a diving catch than the usual diving stop and throw. But its definitely a low-percentage play, so Tulowitzki receives a mountain of credit.

    That doesnt completely explain Tulowitzkis defensive numbers there's also all the easier plays, each of which hes made. Pitch-framing has two components: preserving strikes within the zone, and getting strikes from the zone. Defense also offers two components: not screwing up the routine, and pulling from the difficult. Tulowitzkis done everything, so because of this, hes probably earned his defensive statistics. You can also see, though, why those numbers should settle down. Some of the amazing plays required a sistance from the very first baseman. Some just got the runner, where the slightest difference mightve made the biggest difference. I believe you can see, even just in all six of these plays, that Tulowitzki is an outstanding shortstop whos also gotten a little lucky. Sometimes, hes going to be a little too slow. Sometimes, his throws are going to be a bit off. Hes running exce sive an interest rate of converting the most challenging plays hanging around, and thats too extreme to sustain.

    But its another thing extreme thats happened. Tulowitzki makes each one of these plays, and thus a number of other ones. How do you explain Troy Tulowitzki already having 4 WAR? A slugging percentage that starts with a 7, an on-base percentage that almost starts with a 5, as well as an a sortment of nearly impo sible defensive plays as a shortstop. No, Tulowitzki probably isnt going to finish with the greatest single Montee Ball Jersey season ever. But he could certainly finish with the greatest single season of the season. Whats within the bag is incorporated in the bag, and just what has yet to happen is going to involve Troy Tulowitzki, and every one of his skills.