DENVER -- You can't overshadow Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for long. A quiet run of outstanding performances has earned him National League Player of the Month and NL Player of the Week honors.
Outfielder Charlie Blackmon's hot start was the big story for the early days of the season, and third baseman Nolan Arenado's hit streak, 24 games entering Monday's action, has attracted much of the recent attention. Tulowitzki rolled along as quietly as possible for a superstar, leading the Majors with a .477 on-base percentage and a .727 slugging percentage in 27 March/April contests.
But folks did take notice. Tulowitzki was announced Monday as the Budweiser Presents NL Player of the Month for April. Not long after that announcement was made, Major League Baseball also announced that Tulowitzki became the third Rockies player this season to be named NL Player of the Week. Blackmon and first baseman Justin Morneau also have taken home that honor.
Tulowitzki, 29, posted an on-base percentage that was the highest for a shortstop during the first month of the season since his idol, future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter of the Yankees, had a .505 mark to open 2006. His slugging percentage was the highest for a shortstop in the first month since Alex Rodriguez slugged .747 in 2000.
Twice, Tulowitzki reached five times in a game: April 20 against the Phillies and last Monday at Arizona.
By April's end, Tulowitzki had a .364 batting average and led the NL with 24 runs scored. He was second in total bases with 64, tied for third in RBIs with 22, tied for fourth with seven home runs and tied for fifth with nine doubles.
Blackmon, whose .374 March-April average led the Majors, also received votes, as did Morneau, who hit .343 with six home runs and 22 RBIs. Others receiving votes were the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez, the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton and the Brewers' Carlos Gomez.
As April became May, Tulowitzki stayed hot.
In six games last week, Tulowitzki led the Majors in hitting (.619, 13-for-21), runs scored (9), hits (13), slugging (1.048) and on-base percentage (.692 in 26 plate appearances). He also tied for the lead among NL players with eight RBIs, and he led the NL and was second in the Majors with 22 total bases. Tulowitzki scored two runs, hit three doubles and walked four times.
This is Tulowitzki's second career monthly award, the other coming in September 2010. His NL Player of the Week Award was his fifth. The others were for the weeks ending Aug. 12, 2007; Sept. 20, 2009; Sept. 12, 2010; and Sept. 19, 2010.