Jun 24, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) throws back to first base in the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 8-7. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Tulo has a .985 career fielding %, Reyes has a .972 career fielding %, However, Reyes is down to .953 (he’s actually been worse than this, saved many times by his 1B and 2B), and Tulo is still at .977 this year.
Tulo gets the edge defensively as a result, and with the Jays going to natural grass in the near future, he could feasibly remain a SS for a while yet.
It’s important to note that Fangraphs has Tulo’s Batting and Base Running value going from 22.1 in 2013, to 30 in 2014 and a mere 1.3 so far in 2015. Simultaneously, his fielding value has dropped from 11.9 in 2013, to 6.8 in 2014 and -0.6 in 2015. However, I attribute much of this to the state of the Colorado Rockies franchise and his state of mind while playing for them. This was the first year Tulo became vocal about his frustration of playing in Colorado and it took its toll on his performance numbers. I expect him to return to the 5 War levels or high 4s with the Jays, something Jose Reyes was never able to accomplish.
As a result, Tulo gets a big edge here. His War is also more sustainable since he has the better bat overall and can move to DH if need be, something Reyes wouldn’t be able to do and protects the investment the Jays have made in taking on Tulo’s salary long-term.
POWER vs SPEED
Reyes has stolen 39, 40, 15, and 30 bases his last 4 years, and 16 so far in 2015.
Tulo has hit 30, 8, 25, and 21 home runs his last 4 years, and 12 so far in 2015.
It’s impossible to compare apples to oranges, or power and speed. Each is a different ingredient that a lineup needs to balance. In the end, getting runs across the plate is the goal of every team, and I think that when they’re in the lineup, both players provide their teams with Elite energy in their roles. So in terms or power vs speed, which is really what Tulo vs Reyes is about in the lineup. There’s still a chance that Tulo can carry his skills forward into the future while Reyes’ speed will diminish and make it tough to substantiate keeping him at the lead off spot. With that in mind, I give Tulo an edge here, but a very slight one and one that is dependent on his being able to remain healthy as he approaches age 35.
Next: A Tale of Hitting Stats