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Just The Sports: Tulowitzki Updated

Just The Sports

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tulowitzki Updated

Having his work cut out for him was how I described the quest I gave to Troy Tulowitzki without his apparent knowledge or permission, the quest to match his idol Derek Jeter's offensive career at the least and hopefully to be able to post numbers that surpass Jeter's own. Eighty-five games after I first matched Tulowitzki's career to Jeter's, Tulowitzki is still managing to hold his own against Jeter, although he is falling behind Jeter slightly.

Whereas after the first ninety-five games of the two shortstops' careers, their hitting statistics were near mirror images of each other, after the first one hundred seventy contests in which they played, Jeter has opened up a slight advantage over Tulowitzki. Through Jeter's first one hundred seventy games, Jeter hit .319 BA/.373 OBP/.439 SLG/.277 GPA and Tulowitzki hit .284 BA/.352 OBP/.454 SLG/.272 GPA. Tulowitzki clearly has more power as evidenced by his isolated power of .170, which is far and away above Jeter's isolated power of .120. Of course, Jeter can make the retort he is a better overall hitter than Tulowitzki because his gross product average (a more accurate version of OPS) is five points higher.

Truthfully, Tulowitzki is probably not even that close to Jeter as a hitter. Playing for the Colorado Rockies and therefore playing the majority of his games at Coors Field already gives him a decided headstart over Jeter, whose home ballpark is not exactly kind to right-handed hitters, and the fact Tulowitzki could not translate that headstart into a clear victory is evidence of Tulowitzki's inferiority. Due to the Rockies employing a humidor suppresses the run-scoring environment so Coors Field is not quite the launching pad it used to be does not mean it has stopped favoring hitters completely. In fact, when Tulowitzki's home-road splits for his first one hundred seventy games are calculated, his gross product average for home games is 25.3% above his gross product average for road games (.302 to .241).

As I stated earlier Yankee Stadium does not help out right-handed hitters and Jeter's home-road splits during the one hundred seventy contests lends further credence to this statement. Jeter's gross product average on the road was actually superior to his home gross product average, 15.2% superior (.296 to .257). Being such a productive hitter on the road is an impressive feat because not every ballpark is created equally so it is immensely more difficult to perform well when a hitter has different backdrops and light angles and other variables to contend with.

If Tulowitzki wants to be as good as Jeter, he will have to prove his good hitting statistics are not because of his home park; hitting better on the road is a must for him. Luckily, he has a long career ahead of him to figure out how to do so.



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