Blog Entry

Would You Rather Have: Tulowitzki or Longoria?

Posted on: January 13, 2012 2:39 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 2:27 pm

By C. Trent Rosecrans

And once again it's time for our bloodfeud showdown in the Would You Rather Have series, and we're still not messing around. So far it's been even difficult for Matt and I to agree -- not to mention you, but that's cool, because it's the offseason and talking about baseball is always good. When there's snow outside my window, I yearn for baseball and baseball talk, so here we go with another hypothetical to keep the boredom and basketball away.

Today, we'll look at two of the best young players in the game, that although they play different positions on the infield, are still cornerstones of their franchise -- Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria. So, which former Dirtbag of Long Beach State would you rather have?

The case for Tulowitzki

It's not that tough to make a case for Tulowitzki in any argument. When you bring up Tulowtizki, you're talking about a career .293/.364/.505 hitter with two Gold Gloves at the most important defensive position on the field. He's also gracious with fans and media alike, apparently a great teammate and a team player. He has a great sense of humor and has even rocked a mullet for charity. He's only 27 and is entering the prime of his career. There's almost nothing not to like about Tulowitzki.

The case for Longoria

A year younger than Tulowitzki, Longoria is one of the game's best players, regardless of position. A career .274/.360/.515 hitter, he's coming off what on first glance is a "down" season, hitting .244/.355/.495 with 31 homers. But look more closely and he had terrible luck, with a career-low batting average on balls in play of .239 -- nearly .100 points lower than his 2010 BABIP of .336. It's the first time in his four big-league seasons that he's had a BABIP less than .300. Despite the low BABIP, he increased his walk rate (13.9 percent) and decreased his strikeout rate (16.2 percent) in 2011, both career bests. Longoria didn't win the Gold Glove at third base in the American League for the first time since his rookie season, but there's no shame in losing to Adrian Beltre when it comes to fielding.

Contracts always play a big role in these kind of decisions and in most real-life decisions. That's where Longoria has the advantage. The Rays may have the most team-friendly contract in baseball, with control of Longoria through the 2016 season, making just $4.5 million in 2012 and $40.5 million due to him over the next five seasons (if the team exercises it's no-brainer team options in 2014-16.) Tulowitzki is also staying put for the near future -- and beyond. The Rockies have him signed through 2020 with a team option for 2021, when Tulowitzki will be 36, owing him at minimum $152.25 million.

Tulowitzki is aided by Coors Field, of course. That subject is going to come up anytime a Rockies player is brought up in just about any discussion -- and for good reason. As good as Tulowitzki is, he's better at Coors Field. In his career, he's a .312/.382/.549 hitter at Coors Field and a .274/.346/.462 hitter everywhere else. Last season the gap wasn't nearly as large, as he hit .310/.381/.567 at home and .292/.362/.519 on the road, with 13 of his 30 homers coming on the road.

Our call

This one may be a tad easier than our last two, but it's still a choice between two of the game's best -- but in the end, the choice is Longoria. Despite playing in fewer games by nearly a season, Longoria's accumulated a better WAR as measured by both (24.1 vs. 23.7) and FanGraphs (26.9 vs. 24.5), but the biggest reason is the contract status. While it's hard to fault the Rockies for locking up Tulowitzki for the better part of the rest of his career, Longoria's under contract for half the length of Tulowitzki's contract at nearly a quarter of the price. While Tulowitzki gives you positional value, it's not that much more, especially when you have elite defensive talent at both spots.

Fan Vote: Would you rather have Tulowitzki or Longoria on your favorite team?

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Since: Oct 17, 2010
Posted on: January 29, 2012 6:53 pm

Would You Rather Have: Tulowitzki or Longoria?

They always say it comes down to pitching.   Pitchers
sure like having Troy Tulowitzki behind them.  Five star post by carliledevils!

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 5:55 pm

Would You Rather Have: Tulowitzki or Longoria?

There is no doubt about this the Rockies Troy Tulowitzki is the best short stop in baseball today. He is the Caption of the Rockies last year won both the Golden Glove and Silver Slugger for the second time in his career. He plays 110% all the time he makes the players around him better. Short stop is the most important position on the field. The Tampa bay Rays Evan Longoria is a very good player in his own right I take nothing away from the man. Besides the hitting categories how many errors has Tulo and Evan committed Tulo is clearly hands down a better fielder.

Since: Nov 1, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 4:00 pm

Would You Rather Have: Tulowitzki or Longoria?

Tulo.  Slick fielding SS with power is a short commodity.  Long Beach sure gets a lot of players to the bigs. 

Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: January 19, 2012 6:45 pm

Would You Rather Have: Tulowitzki or Longoria?

Longoria as he has proved himself against the best pitching on offer from the AL. His defensive abilities as well all round offense gives him the edge, especially in all ballpark types (Hitter and Pitcher friendly).

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2012 3:39 pm

Would You Rather Have: Tulowitzki or Longoria?

Longo.  People are holding his low average last year against him.  The guy missed a month witha torn muscle on his rib cage and never got his power or swing back until almost August.  The fact that his strikeouts are going down and walks up is a great sign of the discipline seeping in.
Get a bat behind him and he is a HOF.

I like Tulo alot, but I saw Larry Walker at Coors for years and loved the guy.  He has HOF numbers but when you move away from there you see how really skewed the numbers can get.

I do agree with some arguing that Tulo plays SS.  Great point, but a fielder and hitter at 3rd like Longo is every bit as hard to find.

Since: May 2, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 10:24 am

Would You Rather Have: Tulowitzki or Longoria?

tulo period.  next pujols if he can stay healthy

Since: Jan 15, 2012
Posted on: January 15, 2012 5:40 pm

Would You Rather Have: Tulowitzki or Longoria?

After Troy, production drop dramatically at the shortstop position.  No one knows what hanley wil do, and the last two years have been weak in relation to what he used to do (and what Tulo currently does).  Tulo is on of the best defensive shortstops in the majors.  Jose Reyes gives you weak defense, great speed, and plenty of worries with his hamstring.  Troy,while abit injury prone himself, still produces top of the line stats.

Longoria currently, is the 3rd best 3rd baseman in fantasy.  Jose Bautista has eclipsed him dramatically, and Adrian Beltre has been better thanLongoria for the last 2 years running.  Check the stats. Beltre is also better defensively, although Longoria is quite good also.  Zimmerman onthe Nats is very good whennot injured, David Wright wil be coming off an injury and wil be hitting in a relatively hitter friendly environment (relative to 2011 CitiField dimensions).

The point is that there is more talent at 3rd base in the Majors than there is at Shortstop.  WIth Brett Lawrie emerging as a fine player hitting right ahead ofBautista in the Toronto line-up, Evan's value compared to Troy's continue's to diminish.

Tul0 is the more valuable asset, high contract and all.


Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: January 15, 2012 12:00 pm

Would You Rather Have: Tulowitzki or Longoria?

HMMM Long Beach Dirt bag or Long Beach Dirt bag?

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:55 am

Would You Rather Have: Tulowitzki or Longoria?

having watched baseball my whole life, played through high school and moved onto adult little league as an amateur player and manager, there is no doubt that the stud shortstop is ALWAYS preferred vs the stud 3b most other things being about equal.  Simple fact is that SS is such a hard position to fill that when you can find a glove guy who can also hit like a corner position player, you have a chance to win.  Longoria is a great player, but Tulo is a bigger difference maker because he is at a more important position.

Since: Nov 30, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2012 5:07 am

Would You Rather Have: Tulowitzki or Longoria?


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