There’s no doubting the talent of Troy Tulowitzki. When healthy he’s one of the best players in the game. Health is the big concern, and always has been. Every time you draft Tulowitzki you assume there’s a DL stint or two in his season, and just hope it’s not at a bad time.
No such luck this year. As first reported by Thomas Harding on MLB.com a week or so ago, Tulowitzki is having season ending hip surgery. I own him in a pair of highly competitive leagues and will be going into the playoffs without him.
Looking forward to next year, what does this latest injury do to Tulo’s value?
He’s clearly at the point where you need to factor injury into his value. Over the last 4 years, Tulo has averaged about 102 games a season. Round that a touch and call it 2/3 of a season.
What is Tulo’s value over 2/3 of a season? Probably more than you think. He’s currently still ranked second in shortstop rankings in Yahoo standard leagues and hasn’t played in weeks. He still leads all shortstops in home runs. Obviously that won’t stand, but it says a lot about his overwhelming value at such a tough position to fill.
When we look at his value, we need to take into consideration that that 1/3 of the season he’s out will need to be filled. So really, we’re looking at the value of Tulo plus a waiver wire shortstop. This year, the 14th and 15th ranked shortstops are Asdrubal Cabrera and Erick Aybar.
If we assume they are the waiver replacement you’d have, we have 2/3 of a season of Tulowitzki and 1/3 of Cabrera or Aybar. If we prorate Aybar and Cabrera current stats over the final weeks of the season, and add in Tulo’s numbers, we’re looking at season ending stats like this:
|2/3 Tulowitzki - 1/3 Cabrera||92||26||80||4||.311|
|2/3 Tulowitzki - 1/3 Aybar||97||27||76||12||.315|
Those are very good numbers. Both would still lead all shortstops in home runs, average, and possibly runs. With this hybrid you’re looking at a Top-5 shortstop easily, possibly Top-3.
So what does this mean for Troy Tulowitzki next year? He was typically the second shortstop drafted this year — after Hanley Ramirez — going in the late first to early second round. If we assume numbers like the above for next year, you’re still looking at a top shortstop off the board.
Depending on how much you believe in Ian Desmond or Hanley Ramirez, or love Dee Gordon’s steals, you’re looking at a top three shortstop. I know he’s frustrating, but he looks like a second round pick next year with upside. If he doesn’t miss any time, or misses time in the middle of the season where it won’t hurt so much, you still have a first round talent. I will be buying next year at what I believe will be a discount.