Remember when Shortstops were known primarily for their defensive prowess? Me either. In recent years, SS has become a power position, with strapping gents like Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada, and Hanley Ramirez changing the look of the infield.
Colorado, with all that thin air, wanted in on that action, so in 2005 they drafted a Long Beach State phenom named Troy Tulowitzki. The kid goes about 6’3″ and 205 lbs., and the Rockies made him the 7th overall pick that year.
Let’s face it, T3 (his full name is Troy Trever Tulowitzki) lit it up in the minors. He played a short season of A ball in ’05, then set the Texas League on fire with the AA Tulsa Drillers. Desparate to get out of Oklahoma, he knocked 34 doubles, plated 75 runs, and 61 RBIs in just 104 games. For good measure, he threw in six stolen bases, and played stellar defense. That earned him a call up to the big leagues for 25 late-season games to close out 2006.
Tulo started 2007 as the Rockies’ full-time shortstop, and he has not disappointed. He has a .978 fielding percentage, and has helped turn 36 double plays in 43 games. He got his name in the national conversation after turning just the 13th unassisted triple play in MLB history, and was given a painting to commemorate the moment. He also has a cannon in place of his right arm.
The aforementioned triple play. Way to keep your head in the game, Rook!
T3 brings a cool head to the plate, and swagger on the base paths, giving the faceless Rockies a bit of attitude. Not bad for a guy who looks just a trifle stoned in his official team photo. The Rockies’ official MLB site, which uses Similarity Scores in their proper context, gives his closest likeness as a certain A. Rod, whoever that is. But Triple T isn’t sporting purple lipstick (it would match his hat, how gauche) just yet.
Nonetheless, he’s one hell of a player, and you can see he’s doing well on the Smells Like Pujols leaderboard to the right side of the page. Could he be the new face of the Rox? Perhaps. He’s certainly more interesting than Todd Helton.
Perhaps the finest accolade I can give him is this. If I see another game in Coors Field in the near future, I’d buy the kid’s replica jersey, no problem.