Tulo, Choo win Player of Week Awards
Rox shortstop earns second straight Bank of America honor
Not surprisingly, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki took home National League Player of the Week honors on Monday.
It's the second consecutive award for Tulowitzki, who joins the Indians' Shin-Soo Choo as this week's Bank of America honorees.
Tulo's numbers over the past week are nothing short of mind-boggling. The All-Star launched six home runs over the week, including five in a three-game span at one point. With two homers on Saturday, Tulowitzki became just the third player in Major League history to hit 14 homers in a 15-game span, joining Albert Belle in 1995 and Barry Bonds in 2001.
"I don't have words to describe what we're seeing from Troy Tulowitzki," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "It's one thing to be hot. It's another thing to be in the zone like this guy is. But he has that type of mentality, and he loves this time of the year, going back to 2007 when he was just a kid. He's still at a very ripe age where he's at right now."
Perhaps, most importantly to the Rockies, Tulowitzki's stretch has spurred on the club. Entering play on Monday, the Rockies sat just 1 1/2 back in the National League West, largely in part to Tulo's bat.
Tulowitzki is enjoying one of the most prolific stints of his young career. With 10 games left in September, Tulo is just two RBIs from tying Mark Teixiera's total of 35 in 2005, the highest during the month since 1990.
"This stretch, this is something I'll always remember," Tulowitzki said. "It could get a little better, but at the same time, I might not play better my entire career. So, it's something I'll always remember. But for right now, I'm not done with this, so might as well try to keep on riding it out as long as I can."
It's not just at the plate where Tulo has put on a clinic, as the 25-year-old has made his presence felt on both sides of the ball. Tulowitzki leads NL shortstops in fielding percentage (.986) and slugging percentage (.590), setting him up to become the first to own both catagories since Jay Bell in 1993.
Tulo might be playing in another world right now, but Choo is putting up some impressive numbers of his own lately for the Tribe. The South Korean outfielder drove in an AL-best 11 runs last week.
Choo knocked four long balls over the seven-day span, including three in one contest on Sept. 17 against the Royals. His ability to spray the long ball to all fields frustrated Kansas City's attack.
"We tried everything [to get him out]," Royals catcher Brayan Pena said. "We came soft inside with a changeup, and he hit it out to right. We went hard and away with a two-seamer, not a bad pitch, and he hit it out to left. Then it was hard inside with a fastball."
With another homer and a stolen base two days later, Choo secured his second consecutive 20-homer, 20-steal season. Choo, though, wasn't concerned with his numbers of late.
"I had a good series," Choo said. "I feel better about my swing. The last 10 days, I was worried about striking out. I'm not worried anymore."
Bailey Stephens is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.