Tag Archives: Tulo

Rockies All-Star Prospects and My Ballot

Welcome to the 16th Tuesday’s With Mitch, with a quick congrats to CSU Ram Colton Iverson getting drafted by the Pacers and sent to the Celtics. When the season ended he wasn’t really on the radar of the NBA, but his stock just kept rising during his workouts with the teams. It’ll be interesting to see if he makes the Cs; this Homer-Ram is pulling for him. Off we go…

Cuddy

Michael Cuddyer is a no-brainer to be an All-Star, but does he make a case to start? (Brad Mils USA Today)

I love the MLB All-Star Game. From an entertainment standpoint, there’s no doubt it’s the best All-Star Game in sports. The game itself has been awesome ever since home-field advantage in the World Series has been on the line. The players are locked in. There are fist pumps and jacked-up screams. Aggressive base running and well-played defense.

My beef with the All-Star game is that if you are going to have unintelligent fans determining the starters and that silly rule where every team is represented, the game shouldn’t determine home-field advantage.

I think there should be two options with the All-Star game. The first, make it an exhibition with fan votes and every team represented. The second, put home-field on the line and have the players/managers/writers determine the teams based on performance and in-game matchups. Either make it ultra-competitive or ultra-recreational.

Anyway, voting for this year’s All-Star Game starters ends Thursday. Here’s my ballot, which is, of course, correct. If you feel like voting, just copy all of these picks and you can feel good about yourself as an informed baseball fan.

all star ballot - AL

A couple of notes with the AL ballot:

I will not vote for any Yankees or Red Sox; never have, never will. I dislike those teams and their fan bases are big enough without my help. The latest returns were published today.

My ballot is pretty close to what will actually be the starting lineup, which is a bit of a surprise. I differ at second base because nobody has ever heard of Jason Kippins and Robinson Cano is a superstar. Encarnacion is in third place at DH but really deserves to start, even though he’s got no chance of catching Ortiz. At shortstop Peralta vs. JJ Hardy is pretty much a coinflip.

Other than those, the fans will get the AL lineup right.

all star ballot - Copy

A couple notes with the NL ballot:

I will not vote for any Dodgers or Giants; never have, never will. I dislike those teams and their fan bases are big enough without my help, even if all of the Giants fans have only been around for a few years. Also, I tend to lean towards a slight Rockies bias. Nothing too crazy though. The latest returns were published today.

The NL side is much more interesting than the AL.

I’ll just look at my three Rockies selections, since you might not be all that interested in why Pedro Alveraz should start over David Wright.

Tulo has been out for almost three weeks and still leads all NL shortstops in batting average, home runs and RBI, which is kind of absurd. He’ll still be hurt for the game and Ian Desmond should take his spot.

CarGo has moved into second place among all outfielders in the closest race of all. Beltran is in first and won’t be caught, which is fine. He’s having a nice year and is on the best team in the National League. The race for the last two spots is between Gonzalez and Justin Upton, Bryce Harper, Matt Holliday and Andrew McCutchen. All are within about 400,000 votes of each other.

This shouldn’t really be a race at all. CarGo leads the National League in home runs and is first among outfielders in RBI. He’s 6th among outfielders in batting average and stolen bases. First among outfielders in Slugging and 2nd (to Cuddyer) in OPS. So he should definitely start, and probably will.

Cuddyer on the other hand, doesn’t have a shot to start, which isn’t much of a surprise. He’s not in the top 15 in fan voting, but he actually does have a very good case for starting. He leads all NL outfielders in hitting. (He’s 33 points ahead of the next guy). Among outfielders, he’s sixth in RBI and homers, second in OBP, first in slugging and OPS. He also currently has that impressive…. nevermind.

He’s also a Rockie, so he gets my vote.

It may seem crazy to think that the Rockies, who are having a mediocre season, should make up 33 percent of the starting lineup in the All-Star Game, but those three guys are really having years that are that good.

So Tulo will be announced as a starter and CarGo will probably be a starter. Cuddyer would be an enormous snub if he’s left off, but we’ll consider him good to go. Any other deserving Rockies?

Jorge De La Rosa should be in the mix but he probably hasn’t been consistent enough to warrant a spot. Jhouylis Chacin started out great and is nails again, but was pretty bad in between. Both these guys have another couple starts to make a case to be added to the team by Bruce Bochy, but I don’t see it happening.

Rex Brothers should be an All-Star. He’s given up two runs in 34.1 innings, which is good for a 0.52 ERA. He has 37 strikeouts to only 17 walks. Hitters are batting .192 against him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bochy wants a hard throwing lefty to have in his back pocket in the late innings. He also has a really cool name.

OTHER STUFF

I’ve always been a fan of the MLB Stars and Stripes hats that come out for the 4th of July Each year. There’s lots of pretty sick lids (brah!) this year. I like the Rox one a lot, even though I don’t know why we always get red instead of blue, when blue is a lot closer to purple.

What is not cool about that?

The Dodgers bring the Yasiel Puig show to The Keg tonight. What he’s doing is just ridiculous (speaking of should-be All-Stars). Jeff Passan of Yahoo! had an interesting feature today on what is was like when Puig defected from Cuba and was caught by the Coast Guard. Puig is one mysterious superstar.

Great moment from the NBA Draft:

via guyism.com.

Speaking of the Dodgers, this story by Bill Plaschke on a Dodger Stadium usher who worked there from 1958 until he died this year is just a great read.

Good work from the Chicago Tribune here. Two bars, one game:

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This is the funniest way to blow a 9th inning lead I’ve ever seen.

via sbnation.com. @sbnationgif

Pretty funny story on Buzzfeed of a girl taking some selfies while running on the field at a baseball game. Here’s a taste in GIF form:

Whatever works. (via buzzfeed)

Solid work from this kid:

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And finally, I’ll leave you with a nice, calm drive through the European countryside.

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Happy Tuesday everybody, see ya next week.

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.

Is Troy Tulowitzki the Best Player in Baseball?

Troy Tulowitzki

Tulo is currently the game’s best player. Photo courtesy The Denver Post

I think so.

These days this conversation pretty much starts and stops with Miguel Cabrera. More on that in a moment. First, let’s look at Tulowitzki compared to the rest of the National League.

If the season ended today Troy Tulowitzki would deserve the National League MVP over Dominic Brown, Scott Gomez, Yadier Molina and Paul Goldschmidt.

Let’s look at the traditional stats first. Tulo is 2nd in batting average (.351, 3 points behind Molina). He’s 2nd in home runs (17, 2 behind Brown). He’s 3rd in RBI (51, 8 behind Goldschmidt). So right now, he’s near the top in all three triple crown categories. He’s also 3rd in on-base percentage, 1st in slugging and 2nd in total bases.

The more advanced metrics support Tulo, too. That’s fun to say. If you don’t know what these stats mean, just assume it’s good to be in first place in all these categories.

He’s 1st in OPS (and adjusted OPS+, which removes the Coors Field factor), 1st in Offensive WAR, and 2nd in overall WAR among position players.

All of the above stats courtesy of this page at baseball-reference.com

The Rockies have the best offense in the National League and Tulowitzki is the biggest reason for that. Michael Cuddyer is having an All-Star season and Carlos Gonzalez is in the MVP discussion as well, but Tulowitzki is putting up really good numbers in every category, both traditional and advanced.

**Sidenote 1: The Rockies currently have the top 3 players in OPS. Tulo 1, Cuddyer 2, CarGo 3. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one team with the top 3 in any category.

The other factor that has been in play this year has been the “clutch” gene which is hard to quantify. But if you’ve followed the Rockies this season, you’ve seen Tulo deliver a slew of huge, game-changing hits like this one.

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Also, you can not understate what Tulowitzki provides defensively. He makes every routine play, but also does things no other shortstop can.

Put all that together and you have the best player in baseball.

The defensive factor brings me back to Miguel Cabrera. When you look at Tulowitzki in the scope of both leagues instead of just his own, two names frequently pop up in front of Tulo’s in all those categories I mentioned above. One is Baltimore’s Chris Davis. The other is Cabrera.

Davis had a solid season last year, and is an MVP candidate this year. Like Cabrera, he plays first base. So you can put Davis in the conversation of who is having the best season this year, but the sample size is too small to consider him as the game’s best. When Tulowitzki has been healthy (not as often as we’d all like) he’s been one of baseball’s best for the past 7 years.

**Sidenote 2: Can you believe this is our 7th– SEVENTH– season of watching Tulo? Maybe it’s because of all the injuries, but that seems just absurd. 

Cabrera, on the other hand, has been the best hitter in the game for a few years now, including this season. I believe he is currently on pace for 734 RBI. There’s a difference, though, between being the best player in the game and the best hitter in the game.

Cabrera plays first base and not particularly well. He’s also slower than my dad. Tulo isn’t exactly a speedster, but he runs pretty well. The fact that he plays the most important position on the diamond, and does it better than anyone, gives Tulowitzki the edge over Cabrera.

So, yes, Troy Tulowitzki currently is the best player in baseball.

As always, get at me if you disagree.

OTHER STUFF

I’m not a Lebron James fan, but this block is just incredible.

Via guyism.com

Since I showed some good Lebron, here’s a gif somebody somewhere made of him flopping like he got shot.

Via guyism.com

Jimmy Kimmel came through with some funny sports social media discourse, which is kind of right up my alley.

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Good for this kid.

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Three things: That girl’s “right here!” face is a little much for getting a baseball flipped to her. Her boyfriend’s reaction is appropriate. Can’t believe how nonchalant that kid is. Yoink!

What would you do in this situation?

Not sure why he couldn’t just pick the thing up and continue, but the eventual military-style salute had me in tears immediately and made for my favorite YouTube video in a long time, which, of course, I say every single week.

And finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Tim Tebow. He signed with the Patriots yesterday. Tim won me over in Denver and I’d like to see him succeed, so I’m happy he got another shot in the league. However, I’m truly, truly dreading the coming ESPN media coverage. Even though I like the guy, it was pretty relieving to think we were all done with that. Thank you and God Bless.

Happy Tuesday everybody, see ya next week.

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.