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The season that was: Troy Tulowitzki

A look at Troy’s 2016 season

MLB: AL Wild Card-Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Tulowitzki came over in one of Alex Anthopoulos’ deadline deals at the end of July 2015. Troy and LaTroy Hawkins became Jays in exchange for Jesus Tinoco, Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman and Jose Reyes.

Reyes had played himself into the team’s bad books with less than brilliant defense (not that his offense was all that great) and the Jays were wanting to be rid of him. It is too bad that it cost us Hoffman and Castro to do it, but that’s baseball.

Troy didn’t hit much at all, after the trade, but he made the plays at short, and we made it to the playoffs, so we were happy.

We expected him to hit better this year:

Year   Age   G  AB  R   H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+ GDP
2016    31 131 492 54 125 21  0 24  79  1  0 43 101 .254 .318 .443 .761  101  14
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He was some better, but maybe not as good as we hoped.

Baseball Reference has him at a 3.3 WAR. FanGraphs has him a little lower at 2.8, giving him a value of $22.8 million to the Jays.

Troy, like many of the Jays, didn’t have a great batting line in the playoffs, hitting .229/.270/.371 with 1 homer, 1 triple and 5 RBI.

He had an wOBA of .327 and a wRC+ of 102.

His walk rate was up a little, from last year, (7.9%, up from 7.1) and strikeout rate was down a bit (18.6% down from 21.3).

Troy’s line drive rate was down (19.2%, from 22.1), ground ball rate down a bit (40.5% from 41.0) and fly ball up (40.3% from 37.0). More of his fly balls left (15.1% up from 12.9).

His BABIP was way down from last year (.272, from .331). I remember thinking he was pretty unlucky for a long streak in the middle was the season.

He hit right-handers (.251/.313/.446) much the same as he hit lefties (.266/.336/.431).

Troy was slightly better at home (.260/.330/.446) than on the road (.248/.307/.440).

He was pretty good with RISP (.264/.376/.554).

He hit with more power in the first half of the season (.239/.315/.453), but had a better average in the second half (.269/.321/.433).

Troy by month:

  • April: .169/.293/.325 with 4 homers and 10 RBI in 24 games
  • May: .238/.286/.440 with 4 homers and 13 RBI in 22 games
  • June: .263/.317/.632 with 4 homers and 8 RBI in 10 games
  • July: .308/.350/.538 with 6 homers and 21 RBI in 23 games
  • August: .273/.347/.432 with 4 homers and 14 RBI in 24 games
  • September: .269/.313/.398 with 2 homers and 13 RBI in 28 games

Troy hit the DL at the end of May with a ‘quadriceps strain’.

He was good defensively. FanGraphs has him at a 5.4 UZR/150. He doesn’t seem to be in decline defensively, the past three seasons he’s had UZR/150s of 4.5, 4.9 and now 5.4. He made 9 errors in 1128 innings at short, for a .983 fielding average, a bit better than the league average of .976

FanGraphs has him at -2.7 runs compared to the average base runner. He had 1 steal. He looks quick on defense, making me think he should be a better base runner.

Troy’s longest hitting streak was 10 games, coming right after the All-Star break.

His favorite team to play? He hit .409/.481/.727 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI in 5 games against the Clevelanders. Of course, that was the regular season. In the playoffs he was 2 for 18 against them.

Least favorite? He hit just .111/.172/.259 with 1 home run and 3 RBI in 7 games against the Angels.

Troy had a very slow start to the season. Between that, his poor hitting after last year’s trade, and Darwin Barney’s great start with the bat, my Twitter feed was full of ‘Barney should be the starter at short’. I’m always thankful that twitter doesn’t run the team.

It was fun going to the games in Denver and seeing how loved he was there. I’d like to think that it was the series that turned around his season. He was hitting just .215 at the end of the series. The next day was July 1st and he had the great July, hitting .308 for the month. It’s possible that he kind of got closure from that series and beame a Blue Jay at that point. Or maybe it was stealing Nolan Arenado’s bat? Or maybe I just want a nice neat narrative?

He also seemed to be taking more of a leadership role on the team, particularly on the field, as the season went on. That’s nice to see. It feels like he’s getting more comfortable in Blue Jays colors. Maybe we can skip the slow start next year and have him put up good numbers for the season, likely not the numbers that got him MVP votes in 6 of his seasons with the Rockies, but numbers that make us happy that he is a Jay.

Troy will be 32 next season and we own him for 3 more years after that (with a team option for 2021). The nice part is that his defense isn’t deteriorating yet. He should stay a reasonable shortstop for, at least, the next couple of years. It is nice that we don’t have to worry about moving Tulo off the position anytime soon.

He seems like a very likable person. He signed a ton of autographs in Denver. I enjoyed watching him get fired up and show a little more ‘personality’ as the season went on.

This was my favorite Tulowitzki moment of the season: