Look, when ranking the top players in any sport it is primarily a subjective process. I mean, you can use statistics, but those numbers do not factor in the importance of the position they play, nor the heart and desire of an athlete.

But let me tell you this: From a purely objective analysis, at least to me, Troy Tulowitzki meets all those criteria and may just be qualified to be considered the best player in baseball.

Let’s look at the facts here. First of all, does he play a critical position? Check. Along with catcher and center field, the shortstop is often considered to be the most critical player on the field.

Next, does he perform at a very high level? Um, duh. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Tulowitzki is one of the best offensive and defensive shortstops in baseball.

Is he a winner? Well, considering that he’s doing his best work as the Rockies try desperately to make the playoffs, one would have to think so.

Now, granted, he is having a phenomenal September, so it would be easy for one to say that this article is a knee-jerk reaction to the incredible work he has done this year. Admittedly, this article would have been more effective—and, in fact, somewhat controversial—if it had been written before these accomplishments.

But I can offer you this much: I am a Cubs fan who has absolutely no ties to Tulowitzki from an emotional perspective and I can assure you that I am not related to the man. I wish I was, but that’s a topic for another day.

Yes, he tied a record by homering 14 times in a 15-game stretch, and has four multi-homer games this year (all this month), and is hitting .394 with 35 RBI his last 16 games.

But this is about much more than that.

While fans of Evan Longoria, Albert Pujols, Chase Utley, and the rest may have valid arguments against Tulowitzki being named the major’s best player, it is difficult to argue that he at least should be in the conversation.

Sure, Carlos Gonzalez has also been awesome and Huston Street and Ubaldo Jimenez have been solid, but Tulowitzki was injured for much of June and July and yet has a .328/.391/.596/.987 slash with 24 homers and 88 RBI despite missing significant time this year.

Tulo also has 100 fewer plate appearances than CarGo, yet still has a higher WAR.

Tulowitzki will not turn 26 until October. Not that this should matter, but he is signed to a very team-friendly contract, so who would you rather start your team with right now?

Meanwhile, his BABIP is only .250 while doing all this damage this month.

Hey, this isn’t about whether or not he should be considered for the NL MVP. Those awards are even more subjective than the debate over who the best player is.

Instead, this is an acknowledgement that this young man from Santa Clara, CA is among the best in baseball, if not THE best.

This isn’t the first time that Tulo has been good, by the way. He hit 32 homers with a .377 OBP in 2009, with a 5.7 WAR.

Let’s not forget how good he is defensively. His UZR/150, while not a perfect measure, is 6.1 this season and 4.8 for his career.

His w/OBA is .417 in 2010, while his career is .368.

But enough about the stats. Let’s find out what his manager thinks.

As Coloradosportsdesk.com reports: “I am not heaping anything on him that he doesn’t expect of himself,” Tracy said. “He’s very much like a Jeter, or our guy Helton. He’s a winning player, a guy who sets the tone, a guy capable of being an institution here.”

Compared to Jeter? That’s pretty impressive.

I don’t know what the future will bring, as my crystal ball is currently in the shop, but I am as confident as I can be that this young man will continue to be a great player for a long, long time, assuming good health.

In fact, he just might be the best.

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