Slanted Sabr: Troy Tulowitzki is the best player in the game today.

Guess what? I have something to share with you all, Troy Tulowitzki is the best player in the world today. And in reality , its not even a close race. I know, I know, many of you reading this are just screaming “Mike Trout” aloud in your head. I’m sure some of you are immediately going to your “Tulo can’t stay healthy for a whole season” routine, but for now he IS healthy and he IS better than Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista and whoever else you want to throw into the mix. he is clearly the best two way player that we have in baseball today. Dare to read more? Lets get at it.

The baseball season has moved into the first week of May, which means its time to cast those All-Star ballots and even start considering the front runners for the MVP and Cy Young award. Some teams have gotten off to hot starts , some teams have been extremely disappointing to start the year. Players like Prince Fielder have been severely cold to start the year, but one constant has remained throughout the first month and change – Tulo is a force to be reckoned with.

slanted sabr logoI am such a fan of Tulowitski’s defense that I am going to dive into that first. As I am writing this news has broke that Tulo has been named National League player of the month. No surprise at all there. Nobody played a better defense in the Major Leagues than Tulo during the month of April. In fact he lead all shortstops with the most defensive runs saved (DRS) with a mind blowing 10 in one month. That is an insane number. Look at it like this, last year the Boston Red Sox finished the total season with a 9 DRS. Tulo has eclipsed that in one month. Andrelton Simmons led the Majors in 2013 with 41 DRS, Tulo is well on his way to shattering that mark.

Rockies first base coach Eric Young was very impressed with Tulo and chimed in with the following comments about the stud shortstop, “Tulo’s range is unbelievable, but more importantly, he has a knack for positioning himself very well,” Young said Thursday. “As for him making the Derek Jeter acrobatic throw, Tulo is, by far, the only shortstop in the game to imitate that consistently. “Making throws on the run in any direction sets him apart from the rest. Watching him play defense is just as much a joy as watching him hit every day.” 

He is also pretty darn good offensively as well. Actually that is quite the understatement. He has been the best run producer and run creator so far to start this season. Check out some of these numbers. Tulo has played in 30 games to open 2014 and is slashing at a .400/.500/.730 clip. No I’m not making those numbers up either. Tulo has scored 29 runs and driven in 25. He has 7 home runs and is walking at a 16.9% rate. He has already racked up a 3.0 WAR and is on pace for 221 wRC+. Numbers so good I had to check multiple reference sites to make sure there was not a mistake.

So if anybody puts up a fight about Trout or Miguel Cabrera being a better hitter right now, they are dead wrong. I don’t care that Tulo has failed to stay healthy in previous seasons, I’m talking about the 2014 season. Its the same lame excuse people used about Evan Longoria until last year when he played through injuries and played the majority of the games. Tulo is healthy now so lets enjoy it and hope it continues all year. Many players have gotten off to fantastic starts so far, so lets compare them in regards to Tulo and his numbers.

Player Name / Slash Line / Runs / RBI / Homeruns / wRC+ / WAR

Troy Tulowitzki / .400/.500/.730 /29 Runs / 25 RBI / 7 / 221 / 3.0

Albert Pujols / .287/.353/.598 / 22 Runs / 25 RBI / 10  / 160 / 1.1

Jose Abreu / .258/.319/.617 /22 Runs / 34 RBI / 12 / 146 / 1.0

Giancarolo Stanton / .285/.362/.602/ 22 Runs / 36 RBI / 12 / 156 / 1.6

Jose Bautista / .294/.458/.596 / 27 Runs / 20 RBI / 9 / 190 / 1.4

Those numbers speak for themselves. He is a major factor in every offensive category. He gets on base, he scores runs, he drives in runs and he creates runs at a record pace. wRC+ is usually my go to stat when completely judging a player and his offensive contribution as a total package. Troy Tulowitski is in a league of his own in terms of wRC+. The next highest on this list is 31 runs away from Tulo.  He is a little farther behind in the RBI department, but if you really follow the game you understand that creating runs is just as important as knocking them in, after all unless a player hits a homerun, the only way to get an RBI is if somebody is on base when that player is batting.

When talking about front runners for MVP and the best players in the league, WAR should be used. I’ve already spoken about how Tulo has posted a 3.0 WAR so far this season. Fun fact – Mike Trout didn’t have a 3.0 WAR last season until the month of June. That is how torrent the pace that Troy is currently on, from both sides of the ball. Don’t worry, I have you covered in terms of 2014 WAR leaders.

1. Troy Tulowitski 3.0

2. Mike Trout 2.4

3. Charlie Blackmon 1.9

4. Brian Dozier 1.9

5. Desmond Jennings 1.6

It is really easy folks, Troy Tulowitski is the best player in the game right now, he is the best defender, the best offensive producer and every stat that you can hse has him at or nesr the top. Lets stop worrying about if he will stay healthy or not, lets just enjoy the fact that he is healthy, and he is producing at a record rate. We could be watching history in the making if this continues. Enjoy it!

For the latest in sports injury news, check out our friends at sports injury alert.

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