Toronto Blue Jays Troy Tulowitzki: Can He Avoid Injury in 2016?

The move to the Toronto Blue Jays increase Troy Tulowitzki’s value. However, injuries make him hard to own in fantasy leagues. Can he avoid them in 2016?

As if the Toronto Blue Jays were not the favorite to win the American League East at the beginning of the 2015 season, the mid-season trade to acquire shortstop Troy Tulowitzki solidified the division. Tulo has been the No. 1 shortstop drafted for many years, including 2015. However, he’s been bitten by the injury bug multiple times throughout his career.

With the emergence of younger shortstops, can he avoid injury and become the No. 1 shortstop one more time?

Troy Tulowitzki spent nine and a half seasons with the Colorado Rockies. He hit 188 home runs, 657 RBI, .299 average and five All-Star game appearances. In a surprising move, Colorado and Toronto swapped shortstops and some other pieces in a last-minute deal.

In 41 games with the Blue Jays, he hit five home runs, 17 RBI, and a .239/.317/.380 line. Last season was another injury-shortened season as he missed 18 games in September with a cracked shoulder blade after colliding with teammate Kevin Pillar.

Speaking of injuries, Troy Tulowitzki has played at least 126 games in five of his 10 seasons and 150 games just twice (143 games in 2011). The questions around his health force owners to either wait on drafting or pass on him completely. He was drafted in the second round in 2015, 14.5 ADP, as the first shortstop drafted.

He tore his left quadriceps tendon in April 2008 and cut his right palm months later. He underwent surgery on a groin pull that happened on May 30 and would miss the rest of the season. In June 2013, he fractured a rib and missed 25 games. He injured his left hip during on July 20, 2014, and underwent labral repair surgery on August 15, which ended his season.

The list of injuries is a strange one. Some were preventable, others were freak accidents. The point is, that when drafting Tulo, you have to keep it in the back of your mind that he may miss some games.

The missed time, decline in the second-half of the season and the rise of young shortstops sent Tulo down in the rankings. He finished 149th overall and ninth among shortstops on the Player Rater. He had a good season, but not one worthy of being drafted in the second round.

Troy Tulowitzki’s move from Colorado to Toronto would obviously make a big impact on his numbers. Coors Field is historically known as a hitters park. In nine full seasons with the Rockies, he had a 37.5 fly ball rate. In 41 games in Toronto, his fly ball rate was 30.3 percent. I know it’s comparing apples and oranges, but the Rogers Centre ranks in the bottom half on ESPN’s Park Factors. So, will he be able to buck the trend in a full season?

As we prepare for fantasy drafts, I have Troy Tulowitzki ranked as my No. 3 shortstop (I’ll have my position rankings out in February). I like Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts just a little more. Regardless, Tulo in that Blue Jays lineup against the poor AL East pitching will make for a dangerous 2016 campaign, if he can stay healthy and play 140-plus games.

Projections: 133 hits, 20 home runs, 71 RBI, .283 average

Draft: Round 4