As I discussed earlier in the week, the Rockies were prepared to trade outfielder Charlie Blackmon to the Blue Jays, but the trade talk between the two teams didn’t progress far when apparently the asking price was Marcus Stroman. For obvious reasons, Toronto was not at all interested in making such a deal as long as it meant trading away such a promising young pitcher like Stroman. Not to stray too far off topic, but Troy Tulowitzki is one of my favourite players these days, because of his otherworldly defensive skills, even if he was hitting .230, I’d still want him in the starting lineup for Toronto. I think we’d all agree Tulowitzki hasn’t been the same player with the Blue Jays that he was with the Rockies, and this is something that can’t be ignored whenever Toronto is looking into possibly acquiring position players from Colorado. Charlie Blackmon is a solid big-league outfielder, but how much better is he (offensively speaking) because he plays half his games in an environment that is so conducive to good hitting?
Most players are going to produce better at home than on the road, but when you look over the stats of the best players who have ever played for the Rockies, the difference between their home/away splits is staggering. Now I’m not trying to take anything away from such wonderful players like Tulowitzki by talking like this, but it’s just terribly important to understand that players who’ve done very well while playing with the Rockies most certainly won’t be anywhere near the type of player they were in Colorado once they begin playing for another ball club. So for an organization like the Blue Jays, who have already given up so much when they acquired Tulowitzki, they need to be extra cautious when considering making a move for a player like Charlie Blackmon, or any position players on the Rockies for that matter.
The table below looks at what Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, Charlie Blackmon, and Nolan Arenado have hit over the course of their careers at home and away. Again, nothing against these fine players, but their inflated statistics while playing at Coors Field tell me that these players aren’t quite as great as people make them out to be. Just to compare, and ensure that home/away splits for players who don’t play for the Rockies aren’t similar to those of Tulowitzki/Helton/Blackmon/Arenado, I’ve also included home/away splits for several other players, just to give a sense of how much more lopsided the differences are for players from the Rockies compared to players who’ve played elsewhere.
Not only is this sort of information terribly important when a team like the Blue Jays is considering making a move for someone like Blackmon, but Toronto also needs to probably re-evaluate Tulowitzki’s role in this offense and where he should be situated in the line-up. For a year and a half now, people have been wondering when Tulowitzki the .300 hitter was going to break-out (some might still be wondering when it’s going to happen), but the fact is it’s probably never going to happen and Toronto needs to start considering Tulowitzki’s place in the order based on someone who’s going to hit in the range of .250-.275, rather than based on the numbers he put up while playing with the Rockies.