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Entries in Troy Tulowitzki (7)


Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies Rocket Launcher

Fly balls are a mixed bag for batters.  A high fly gives an outfielder plenty of time to get under the ball and record the out.  On the other hand, batters that get the launch angle right see those balls come down in the seats instead.  Here are the top 25 batters at turning home runs into fly balls in 2011, minimum 75 fly balls:

HitterTeamPlate App.HR/FB
Jose Bautista TOR 83 0.313
Mark Teixeira NYY 88 0.25
Curtis Granderson NYY 98 0.245
Mark Reynolds BAL 78 0.244
Matt Kemp LAD 93 0.237
Paul Konerko CWS 90 0.233
Ryan Howard PHI 81 0.222
Prince Fielder MIL 83 0.217
Jay Bruce CIN 96 0.198
Adrian Gonzalez BOS 86 0.198
Danny Espinosa WSH 76 0.197
David Ortiz BOS 88 0.193
Troy Tulowitzki COL 83 0.193
Kelly Johnson ARI 81 0.185
Alfonso Soriano CHC 82 0.171
Brian McCann ATL 85 0.165
Carlos Quentin CWS 87 0.161
Chris Young ARI 96 0.156
Alex Rodriguez NYY 77 0.156
Kevin Youkilis BOS 79 0.152
Albert Pujols STL 87 0.149
Andrew McCutchen PIT 88 0.148
Adrian Beltre TEX 109 0.147
Mitch Moreland TEX 75 0.147


Notice that the list is littered with all-stars and all-star snubs.  About in the middle, ranked 13th, is Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies.  While he's joined by middle infielders Danny Espinosa of the Washington Nationals and Kelly Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks, long term Troy dominates the shortstop position.


HR/FB, 2008-2011, shortstops. Minimum 250 fly balls
ShortstopTeamPlate App.HR/FB
Troy Tulowitzki COL 422 0.190
Hanley Ramirez FLA 413 0.157
Alexei Ramirez CWS 434 0.129
J. J. Hardy BAL 377 0.125
Jhonny Peralta DET 510 0.110
Alex Gonzalez ATL 366 0.098
Derek Jeter NYY 358 0.095
Stephen Drew ARI 560 0.089
Miguel Tejada SF 484 0.089
Yunel Escobar TOR 395 0.084
Jerry Hairston WSH 296 0.084
Jimmy Rollins PHI 484 0.083
Ronny Cedeno PIT 250 0.080
Asdrubal Cabrera CLE 368 0.073
Jose Reyes NYM 397 0.071
Yuniesky Betancourt MIL 506 0.063
Marco Scutaro BOS 525 0.059
Jed Lowrie BOS 250 0.056
Edgar Renteria CIN 294 0.054
Jason Bartlett SD 382 0.045
Erick Aybar LAA 375 0.045
Cliff Pennington OAK 265 0.042
Jamey Carroll LAD 252 0.012
Cesar Izturis BAL 267 0.011


The average among this group is just 0.085 HR/FB.  Troy more than doubles that, giving the Rockies a great offensive weapon at a position known for defense.  In case you want to blame Coors Field for his high rate, over the same period his rage on the road is 0.180, still the best in the majors among shortstops.  His power is for real.


How Not to Pitch Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki hit two home runs Thursday afternoon, bringing his season total to seven.  That number puts him halfway to the April record halfway through the month.  In addition, ten of his sixteen hits went for extra bases.

While Troy slugs well for any position on the field, his start would put him among the great sluggers of all time over a full season.  Why the sudden power surge?

During the pevious three season, Troy tended to show the most power on pitches up in the strike zone:

Troy Tulowitzki, in play slugging, 2008-2010Not surprisingly, pitchers tended to work him down and away:

Troy Tulowitzki, pitch frequency, 2008-2010.On the slugging map, a donut hole exists down and in, a blue spot near the lower corner near Troy's knees.  In fact, that hole is the lowest slugging area within the strike zone.  So far in 2011, pitchers decided that would be a good place to throw the ball:

Troy Tulowitzki, pitch frequency, 2011.The pitchers tried to take advantage of a weak spot, but the strategy didn't work:

Troy Tulowitzki, in play slugging, 2011.Troy hammered the pitch down and in.  Both home runs Thursday were on the inside edge of the plate as well.  It turns out the right strategy for pitching to Troy was the old one, work him away. 


HR Recap: Troy Tulowitzki vs. Paul Maholm (4/7/11)

Troy Tulowitzki hit a 4th inning home run of Paul Maholm yesterday in Pittsburgh.  It was actually a decent sequence of pitches from Maholm, but an even better job of hitting by Tulowitzki.

Troy Tulowitzki vs. LHP (2008 through April 6, 2011)
(Click to enlarge)
Tulowitzki vs. Maholm (4th inning, 4/7/2011)
(Click to enlarge)

Maholm started him out with two fastballs inside.  He then threw him a curve and a slider low, followed by fastball up.  On a full count, Troy took Maholm's 89 MPH inside fastball out of the park.  You can see that Maholm was trying to pitch to Tulowitzki's weak power zones.  But Troy was able to turn on it and deposit the pitch 390 feet away into the left field seats at PNC Park.