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Troy Tulowitzki

A photo of Troy Tulowitzki.

Troy Trevor Tulowitzki (Template:PronEng; born on October 10, 1984, in Santa Clara, California), nicknamed "Tulo," is a Major League Baseball shortstop for the Colorado Rockies.

Tulowitzki's arm, range and instincts at shortstop are highly regarded.[1] Furthermore, his size, ability and leadership skills have garnered him comparisons to Cal Ripken, Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter.[2][3]

High school career[]

Tulowitzki graduated from Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, California.[4] He earned four varsity letters in baseball and two in basketball. He was twice named second team All-State in baseball and was a 3-time team MVP. As a junior, Tulowitzki had a batting average of .536. He also went 15-1 on the mound. As a senior, he batted .519 with 24 home runs. In basketball, Tulowitzki won league MVP, where he was second team All-State and team MVP, averaging 22.6 points per game during his senior year. He was named Fremont High Athlete of the Year in 2002.[4]

Long Beach State[]

A sure-handed starting shortstop for three seasons at Long Beach State, Tulowitzki had a .962 career fielding percentage. Offensively, in 155 career games, he had a career batting average of .310, with 20 career homers, 117 career RBI, 37 career doubles and a .491 career slugging percentage.[5][6] He also accumulated 31 multi-hit games in his collegiate career. Baseball America rated him as having the top arm and as the best defensive shortstop in the Big West Conference. Tulowitzki was a two-time All-Big West selection (second team in 2003 and first team in 2004) and a two-time All-Regional Tournament selection, earning Most Outstanding Player (MOP) honors in 2004. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies, with the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft.[7]

Major leagues[]

Tulo 27

Troy Tulowitzki wearing # 14 in his rookie year

2006 season[]

Tulowitzki made his Major League Baseball debut with the Colorado Rockies on August 30, 2006, in a 11-3 home loss against the New York Mets, wearing jersey number 14.[8] He had four at-bats and went hitless with three strikeouts. Tulowitzki made it to the big leagues after playing just 126 minor league games. He collected his first Major League hit, an infield single off of Óliver Pérez of the Mets, in a 8-4 home win over New York on August 31, 2006.[9] Tulowitzki hit his first MLB home run on September 4, 2006, off of Woody Williams of the San Diego Padres, in a 7-5 road loss against San Diego.[10] He posted a .240 batting average with one home run and six RBI in 25 games during the 2006 season.[11]

2007 season[]

Spring training

Tulowitzki entered spring training prior to the 2007 season in a battle with incumbent Rockies shortstop Clint Barmes for the starting role. After a spring that saw Tulowitzki winning the spring training's MVP award, along with Barmes struggling offensively, Tulowitzki entered 2007 as the Rockies' starting shortstop.[12]


As a rookie, Tulowitzki established himself in the eyes of some as a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop.[13][14][15] He led all MLB shortstops in fielding percentage (.987), putouts (262), total chances (834), assists (561) and double plays turned (114; 2 more than Jack Wilson, in 233 more innings). He also ranked first in range factor (5.39) and second in zone rating (.866). His target at first base, 3-time gold glover Todd Helton, led the National League in fielding percentage (.999; for the second straight year) and range factor (10.39). Tulowitzki's .987 fielding percentage set an MLB-single season record by a rookie shortstop.[16] He was also a major contributor in the Rockies' MLB-record .98925 fielding percentage for one season.[14]

Tulowitzki ended up not winning the 2007 National League Gold Glove Award, which is voted on by NL coaches and players. The award went instead to Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, despite the fact that Tulowitzki had a better fielding percentage (.987 to .985), zone rating, and range factor, and more total chances, putouts, and assists, and turned 4 more double plays, in 66.1 fewer innings, than Rollins. They each had 11 errors, but Tulowitzki's came on 834 total chances, compared to Rollins' 717.[1]

Tulowitzki did, however, win the Fielding Bible award at shortstop, which is awarded to the shortstop who a panel of voters view as the best defensive shortstop in Major League Baseball.[17] The panel consists of national sports writers, scouts and sports radio talk show hosts.

Unassisted triple play

On April 29, 2007, Tulowitzki turned just the 13th unassisted triple play in MLB history, during a 9-7 home victory at Coors Field over the Atlanta Braves.[18][19] Eight of the 13 unassisted triple plays have been made by a shortstop. In the top of the seventh, Tulowitzki caught third baseman Chipper Jones' line drive with the runners moving, then stepped on second base to retire Kelly Johnson and tagged Edgar Rentería before he could return to first base. Confused and not realizing what he had done, Tulowitzki went back and tagged second again, then threw the ball to Helton at first, neither of which was necessary.

Instead of giving the historic triple play ball back to Tulowitzki, Helton accidentally tossed it into the crowd. However, the ball was eventually retrieved and returned to Tulowitzki a couple of weeks later.[20]

Wrong end of triple play

On September 12, 2007, Tulowitzki was on the wrong end of a triple play this time. As he put it, "I was on first base, I thought the ball hit the ground. I was running to second to break it up. Oh, well. I don't know too many people who can say they turned a triple play and had a triple play turned on them in the same year."[21]

Home run record

On September 10, 2007, Tulowitzki hit his 20th home run of the season, which set the record for most home runs in a single season by a National League rookie shortstop.[22] The previous record was 19, held by Ernie Banks. Tulowitzki hit his first career grand slam on September 29, 2007, in a 11-1 home win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, off of Dustin Nippert.[12][23] He ended with 24 home runs on the season.

National League Rookie of the Year candidate

Tulowitzki was named National League Rookie of the Month for August.[24]

In the 2007 season, Tulowitzki ranked first among NL rookies in at bats (609), plate appearances (678), games (155), hits (177), doubles (33), runs (104), total bases (292), walks (57) and RBI (99; 2 ahead of Ryan Braun, in 158 more at bats). Tulowitzki's 99 RBI led all National League shortstops (he was 3 short of a tie for the MLB lead, held by Detroit Tigers shortstop Carlos Guillén). His RBI total set an MLB-single season record for a rookie shortstop.[16] He finished second behind Braun in OBP (.359). He was third behind Braun and Hunter Pence in batting average (.291), slugging percentage (.479), OPS (.838) and triples (5). Tulowitzki was also third behind Braun and Chris Young in home runs (24) and extra base hits (62), and tied for ninth in stolen bases (7).

Tulowitzki tied Young, Rajai Davis and Norris Hopper for the lead among all NL rookies in caught stealing (6), was second to Carlos Ruiz in grounding into double plays (14, which was one more - with 158 more at bats - than third place Braun) and second behind Young in strikeouts (130; leading all NL shortstops). However, Tulowitzki had the third lowest strikeout ratio (21.3%) out of all rookies with at least 400 at bats, behind Kevin Kouzmanoff (19.4%) and Pence (20.8%). He batted .320 with a .554 slugging percentage and 15 home runs at mile-high Coors Field, but hit only .256 with a .393 slugging percentage and 9 home runs in away games. However, it should be noted that one of the reasons for any substantial differences in home and road splits for Rockies batters is that they have to make adjustments in how they see pitches away from Coors Field - particularly breaking balls, such as sliders and curve balls - since those pitches act differently at Coors Field than on the road.[25]

Team veterans alerted Tulowitzki every time Braun, his chief rival for rookie of the year honors, hit a home run.[26]

Tulowitzki had a 10.8 WARP3 for the season (WARP3 is a metric that measures offensive and defensive production).[27] By comparison, Tulowitzki's rookie of the year rival, Braun, only had a 4.8 WARP3 rating.[28]

Tulowitzki came in second in the race for National League Rookie of the Year. The award was voted on by 32 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, two from each National League city. Braun beat Tulowitzki, 128 points to 126 points, which was the closest voting in the NL since the current system was adopted in 1980.[29] Tulowitzki also lost to Braun in the vote for the 2007 NL Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award, which was voted on by 488 major league players and 30 managers.[30][31] Furthermore, he lost out to Braun in the competition for the 2007 Baseball America Rookie of the Year Award,[32] in the vote for the 2007 Players Choice NL Most Outstanding Rookie by their fellow major league players,[33] and in the Baseball Prospectus 2007 Internet Baseball NL Rookie of the Year Award, with 487 first place votes, versus 666 for Braun.[34] However, on December 14, fans voted Tulowitzki the This Year in Baseball Rookie of the Year, with 27.6% of the vote, which was ahead of Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (26.3%) and Braun (22.3%).[35]

Tulowitzki was selected to the 2007 Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team. The selection was the result of the 49th annual Topps balloting by Major League managers.[36]


Tulowitzki catching a pop-up in game four of the 2007 World Series.

Tie-Breaker and Postseason

On October 1, 2007, in a one-game tie-breaker against the San Diego Padres, Tulowitzki went 4-7 with 3 extra-base hits and scored the tying run in the bottom of the 13th inning. The Rockies won the game, 9-8, and entered the playoffs as the NL wild card team.[37] They faced the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Division Series. On October 4, 2007, in the second game of the series, Tulowitzki and left fielder Matt Holliday hit back-to-back first-pitch homers in the first inning to begin a 10-5 win, and the Rockies headed to Denver with a 2-0 lead in the series.[38] The Rockies went on to complete a three-game sweep of the Phillies, and advanced to the National League Championship Series, in which they swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in four games. Colorado then played the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, which was the first ever World Series appearance in Rockies history. Boston swept Colorado in four games.

Tulowitzki batted .195 in the postseason, with a .267 on-base percentage and 15 strikeouts in 41 at bats. Fox Sports writer Chadd Finn stated that while the World Series was the first time that he thought Tulowitzki looked like a rookie all season, he feels Tulowitzki will be better for the experience.[39]

At the same time, MLB Hall of Fame shortstop and third baseman Cal Ripken, Jr. offered his own assessment of Tulowitzki: "He has a strong offensive game, but defensively, he's unbelievable. He really thinks about the position, all aspects of the game. I love that about him."[40]

2008 season[]

On January 23, 2008, Tulowitzki signed a six-year, $31-million contract extension with the Rockies.[41] The deal, which also included a club option for 2014, was the largest-ever contract for a player with less than two years experience until Braun signed an eight-year, $45-million contract extension with the Brewers on May 15, 2008.[42]

On April 29, 2008, in a 3-2 road win over the San Francisco Giants, Tulowitzki tore a left quadriceps tendon during a defensive play in the first inning of the game.[43] He could be out until the All-Star break or longer.


Batter walk-up song (2008): "Superstar" by Lupe Fiasco

Batter walk-up song (2007): "I'm a Flirt" by R Kelly[44]

Batter walk-up song (2010): "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus

Tulowitzki's favorite players growing up were Nomar Garciaparra and Derek Jeter. Tulowitzki's jersey number in college was No. 5, due to his admiration of Garciaparra, and his jersey number for the Rockies is No. 2, due to his admiration of Jeter.[45]

In a television interview with ESPN, Tulowitzki stated that his favorite team growing up was the Oakland Athletics, and that his favorite musical artist is Jay-Z.

Tulowtizki married his high school sweet heart Danyll Gammon-Tulowitzki on November 7th 2009.

Tulo and girl friend

Tulowitzki and Wife, Danyll.

Awards and honors[]

  • This Year in Baseball Rookie of the Year (2007)
  • Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team: Shortstop (2007)
  • Fielding Bible Award: Shortstop (2007 2011)
  • National League Rookie of the Month (August 2007)
  • Colorado Rockies Minor League Player of the Year (2006)
  • All-Star Futures Game (2006)
  • No. 32 - MLN FAB50 Baseball 2006: Minor League News (2006)
  • Big West Conference All-Star: Shortstop (2004, 2005)
  • Palo Alto Regional MVP: 2004 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament
  • Rawlings Gold Glove Award: Shortstop (2010. 2011)


  1. "ESPN Scouting Report"
  2. Major League Baseball Players Association: News
  3. Tulowitzki rare mix of talent, leadership : Rockies : The Rocky Mountain News
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
  5. TSN profile
  6. Tulo Had Success Written All Over
  7. Troy Tulowitzki Statistics -
  8. ESPN - Mets vs. Rockies - Recap - August 30, 2006
  9. ESPN - Mets vs. Rockies - Recap - August 31, 2006
  10. ESPN - Rockies vs. Padres - Recap - September 04, 2006
  11. The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
  13. ESPN - Tulowitzki's game, passion belie his rookie status - MLB
  14. 14.0 14.1 Sure hands + strong arms = winning edge : Rockies : The Rocky Mountain News
  15. The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: News: Colorado Rockies News
  16. 16.0 16.1 Tulowitzki Turning Into Household Name
  18. Tulowitzki turns unassisted triple play
  19. ESPN - Braves vs. Rockies - Recap - April 29, 2007
  20. The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: News: Colorado Rockies News
  21. 60 Seconds
  22. The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: News: Colorado Rockies News
  23. ESPN - Diamondbacks vs. Rockies - Recap - September 29, 2007
  24. Tulowitzki named Rookie of the Month
  25. ESPN - Coors Field a truly unique environment - MLB
  26. Colorado rookie Tulowitzki provides veteran presence -
  27. Baseball Prospectus Player Card for TROY TULOWITZKI Born 10-10-198
  28. Baseball Prospectus Player Card for RYAN BRAUN Born 11-17-198
  29. The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News
  30. The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News
  31. - Your expert source for MLB Baseball stats, scores, standings, blogs and fantasy news from MLB Baseball columnists
  32. "Record-Setting Bat Propels Braun," Baseball America, 10/17/07, accessed 10/18/07
  33. Major League Baseball Players Recognize Top Rookie in Each League | All American Patriots
  34. "The 2007 Internet Baseball Awards; Results and Wrap-Up, Baseball Prospectus, 11/1/07, accessed 11/2/07
  35. The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: 2007 This Year in Baseball Awards
  36. "Topps announces the 49th annual Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team,", 11/26/07, accessed 11/26/07
  37. ESPN - Padres vs. Rockies - Recap - October 01, 2007
  38. ESPN - Rockies vs. Phillies - Recap - October 04, 2007
  39. FOX Sports on MSN - MLB - Nine innings: Here's the dish on Cabrera
  40. Colorado rookie Tulowitzki provides veteran presence -
  41. The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News
  42. Brewers sign Braun to eight-year deal
  43. Tulowitzki out at least until All-Star break
  44. - Writers - Gennaro Filice: Rise of Troy, NL Central's atrociousness and more - Sunday August 26, 2007 11:56PM
  45. The Denver Post - Shortstop on way to stardom

External links[]

Preceded by:
Francisco Liriano
This Year in Baseball Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Hanley Ramirez
Topps All-Star Rookie Shortstop
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Ryan Braun
National League Rookie of the Month
August 2007
Succeeded by:
James Loney