Troy Tulowitzki>Carlos Gonzalez

Yeah, I said it. Carlos Gonzalez has a shot at the Triple Crown and is the face of the 2010 Colorado Rockies. Troy Tulowitzki has a bad haircut. And is the better, more valuable baseball player.

So why does the MSM and average fan eat up CarGo at the expense of Tulo?

1) Traditional stats.

Carlos Gonzalez has the best batting average in the National League. People love batting average. But Tulowitzki has a .322 BA himself. Gonzalez has 32 homers. Chicks dig the long ball. But Tulo still has 22 homers despite missing some time due to injury. Carlos Gonzalez has 104 RBI’s. RBI’s often win guys MVP’s. But Tulo still has 75 RBI’s despite missing some time due to injury. So Gonzalez has beasted when it comes to mainstream, boring stats. Yet Tulowitzki has solid stats as well, even though he missed time due to injury!

2) Defense.

Joe Posnanski had a great post the other day, in which he discussed defensive value. Essentially, he said that voters often vote for the big offense players since defense is tough to measure, unlike offense. In fact, here is an excerpt:

Except for a couple of extra MVPs to the glamour position of shortstop, the MVPs have gone in perfect order from easiest position to hardest. Why? Because the MVP is an offensive award. Because our idea of value in large part revolves around offensive contributions — and not just any offensive contributions but certain KINDS of offensive contribution.

He summed up my thoughts EXACTLY. Gonzalez is getting the media attention because of his specific (BA, RBI, HR) offensive production.

Now, onto why Tulowitzki has been better.

1) Offense.

Yes, Gonzalez has better traditional numbers. But what about advanced numbers? In 571 PA, Gonzalez has a line of .340/.377/.612/.421/159. Not too shabby. In 456 PA, Tulowitzki has a line of .320/.387/.559/.409/151. That’s not too bad either. While Gonzalez has a better SLG percentage, Tulo still has a ridiculously good SLG. Moreover, his OBP is better- and OBP>SLG. As a result, they have very similar wRC+’s. But keep in mind their positions. While CarGo’s wRC+ is 8 runs better than Tulo, he is an outfielder. Tulowitzki has a wRC+ over 150 as a shortstop! Damn, that is impressive.

2) Defense.

Carlos Gonzalez is an okay fielder. In 632 innings last season DRS and UZR thought he was above average. In 1102 innings this season, both metrics believe he is a little bit below average. So CarGo is average with the glove. But Tulowitzki is a BEAST. He has never posted a negative defensive metric in his career. One could make the case he is the best defensive shortstop in baseball. His defense gives him so much value, especially compared to Gonzalez, that is overcomes any gap in value there is with their offense.

3) Position.

As I touched upon in points 1 and 2, position is a big reason why Tulowitzki has been better. We all know shortstop is way more valuable than a corner outfielder. Way more valuable. So while Gonzalez has slightly better offensive stats, we need to factor in their positions. In that context, Tulo’s numbers are more valuable and impressive. Then look at their defense. Tulowitzki is already a better fielder, but the fact he performs better with the glove at a more important  position just rockets his value past that of Gonzalez.


Gonzalez: 5.3

Tulowitzki: 5.4


Gonzalez: 4.4

Tulowitzki: 4.8

There you go. Keep in mind, Tulo has played in less games. So his WAR/700 would be even more impressive.

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2 Comments on “Troy Tulowitzki>Carlos Gonzalez”

  1. Doug Bies Says:

    I’m curious to see how Cargo’s defense pans out as his career progresses. He’s been moved all around the OF this season. I can see him becoming above average, but at the same time, i could see him not being all that great.

  2. […] I just talked about Tulo the other day so I don’t need to explain his case, but he is making the race interesting. I will still go with Votto for now because he has played the entire season and is equally deserving. It seems odd giving an MVP to someone, in Tulo, who may finish with under 550 PA. But he has an 8.7 WAR/700! Explore posts in the same categories: All Posts, Baseball general […]

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