Rockies’ Tulowitzki taps into old success |

Rockies’ Tulowitzki taps into old success

Troy E. Renck
The Denver Post

Troy Tulowitzki is a winner. Simple as that. In his life, he has played on one team with a losing record, last season’s Rockies. On May 28, the Rockies were knee deep and headed toward another horrible season when Tulowitzki looked in the mirror and saw a big reason why.

“In this game you definitely want to take steps forward to get better,” Tulowitzki said, “And I felt like since my rookie year I was taking steps backward.”

So that was how he ended up in the batting cage the day Jim Tracy took over as Rockies manager, willing to overhaul his hitting mechanics while carrying the burden of a .227 average. Tracy told Tulo he wanted him to stand more upright at the plate.

That single change was the first stroke in a bold newpainting for the 24-year-old. Once standing tall, Tulowitzki was agreeable to returning to a toe tap when he starts his swing. It might as well have been Fred Astaire steps back to stardom. The tap, which he had used in the minor leagues, helps Tulo “load” his arms and shift his weight back to get in the proper hitting position. The result? Dramatically quicker bat speed.

Since he started the toe tap, Tulo has hit 12 home runs, the most by any shortstop in baseball during the same period. He enters this weekend’s big home series against San Francisco with 17 home runs.

“I think anybody who first saw me in the minor leagues and in college saw that I did it. When I got here, I stopped because I felt like I was getting beat too much (with fastballs),” Tulowitzki said. “So I spread out my stance to make more contact.”

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