Back in February, I mentioned that Asdrubal’s 2011 would tell us a lot about what kind of career he would have and pointed out that one of the closest comparable players, in terms of stats for players through their first 3 seasons in MLB, was no less than Troy Tulowitzki. Admittedly, even I was a little dismissive of the findings, writing this:
Is that to suggest that a Tulowitki-esque leap to superstardom awaits Asdrubal?
Certainly not, but it definitely puts the disappointment of Asdrubal’s 2010 (before and after the injury) into some perspective...
Um…well, in light of what’s transpiring with Asdrubal this year, perhaps it’s time to re-visit this comparison, as outrageous as it may seem at first glance, given Tulo’s standing among the MLB elite. Regardless, here are the numbers compiled by each through their first 3 seasons, up to the point when each was 23 years old that prompted the revelation:
Tulowitzki (2006-2008) – 281 games
.276 BA / .346 OBP / .435 SLG / .781 OPS / 96 OPS+ with 99 XBH in 1,082 AB
(XBH = extra base hits)
Asdrubal (2007-2009) – 290 games
.287 BA / .355 OBP / .411 SLG / .766 OPS / 105 OPS+ with 92 XBH in 1,034 AB
Seriously, and that’s not even bringing up this season for Asdrubal…
Now it is worth mentioning that Tulowitzki’s HR total (33) for that 3-year stretch more than doubled the output (15) by Asdrubal in his first 3 years, but the XBH were on par with each other and it is worth noting that those 3 seasons were accumulated from the time that each was 21 years old through 23 years old.
Of course, Tulo followed up those first 3 seasons with some stat-stuffing years in 2009 (32 HR, .930 OPS, 130 OPS+) and last year (27 HR, .949 OPS, 138 OPS+) while Cabrera’s 2010 was undone by a poor start and an ill-fated Jhonny Peralta dive into his forearm.
Yet if you look at what each player did/is doing in their age-25 season, you start to wonder if Cabrera was simply taken off of the track for a short time and if he and Tulowitzki are more similar players than the 2009 and 2010 season for each would suggest. By that I mean that here are Tulowitzki’s numbers from 2009, when he was 25 years old:
.315 BA / .381 OBP / .568 SLG / .949 OPS / 138 OPS+
And now, Asdrubal this season, when his is also 25 years old:
.303 BA / .362 OBP / .537 SLG / .899 OPS / 159 OPS+
What is interesting there is while Tulo’s numbers look better overall, a stat like OPS+ actually says that Asdrubal is having the better year in the context of what’s happening offensively in the rest of the league because it uses the rest of MLB as a comparison tool and relates what each player is doing in the context of the rest of MLB. Now, if you project out what Cabrera has compiled over the 2011 season, he projects to finish the season with 33 HR, 36 2B, and 10 3B, which would best Tulowitzki in each category in his age-25 season.
Maybe Asdrubal backs off of his current torrid pace, but…maybe he doesn’t and Asdrubal is starting to emerge as a special player to build a team around. Lest you forget, Tulowitzki is signed through TWENTY TWENTY (that’s the year 2020) with a club option for 2021 with the Rockies guaranteed to pay him more than $152M starting next year to the end of his current contract. Yeah, they think that much of him in the Mile High City and while this isn’t pointed out to suggest that the Indians need to be locking up Asdrubal through the end of the decade (though he becomes a FA at the same time that Choo does and I have yet to see any hand-wringing over losing Asdrubal), the Indians may have a special player whose qualifications as a “core” player could have been debated as recently as this off-season.
Asdrubal The Next Tulo?
Posted 29 May 2011 - 08:58 AM
Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:07 PM
Posted 01 June 2011 - 07:27 PM
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