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Is this the year to own Troy Tulowitzki?

By Keith Hernandez

Troy Tulowitzki has been a serious MVP candidate in four of his six full major league seasons. Last year was not one of those years. My condolences if you were all in on Tulo last year.

Surgery on his left groin limited him to only 47 games in 2012 and left many fantasy players wondering if he'll ever have that one breakout year. A breakout year for a shortstop that's just a year removed from a .302-30-105 season. That's the kind of talent that Tulowitzki possesses.

Colorado Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki
2012 was a rocky one for Tulo

The lost season probably means some, or most, of your league mates aren't willing to rest their hopes in the Colorado Rockies' shortstop. It also means that he'll come at a pretty nice value in 2013, even though most will argue that he remains the class of the shortstop position.

Sure, Tulo has had some trouble staying healthy, but he's also had two seasons of over 150-plus games played, and three over 140. The fact that he stands head and shoulders above the rest of his colleagues at the position makes his injury-marred seasons stand out even more - most notably last year - which is fresh in everyone's mind.

I'm a believer that Tulo will stay healthy for another full season and produce MVP-like numbers that can carry you to a fantasy baseball championship. It has to happen at some point, right? And if that season is 2013 and you are lucky enough to ride it to glory, you can then pawn him off and cash in (assuming you're in a keeper league).

Consider this: At the time he played his 47th and final game in 2012, he had already accumulated eight home runs in 181 at-bats and had a .287 average. Just imagine what his contributions would have been had he stayed healthy. It's scary to think.

His rehab work is progressing, and he's adding flexibility exercises to his offseason routine in order to prevent future leg injuries. He's had plenty of time to get healthy, so the chances of his recovery lingering into the early portion of the season doesn't appear to be a great threat.

Double-digit stolen bases isn't a good bet anymore, though, if Colorado wants to do their best to keep him out of the trainer's room. Regardless, Tulo is a difference-maker at shortstop, and one that I'd still be more than happy to have on my roster. Who else are you willing to bank on at SS these days? There aren't many better than Tulo.


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