I was trying to come up with something to write about and I read an article about how Todd Helton, who for 15 years has been the anchor in the Rockies franchise, may be close to the end of his career. Although he is having a stellar season this year, his stats of the previous few years depict another story. One of a mighty hitter, losing a step.
This post is not going to be about how many years he has left in him, it’s going to be, is he Hall of Fame material? There was a time in the early part of the 00’s that I would have said, absolutely if his numbers continue the way they have been continuing. The around 2004 the power numbers dipped and they have never come back. There has always been talk of him being a steroid user, but time after time he has denied it.
My take on his career is simple, he’s not a 3000 hits guy, he’s not a 500 home run guy (or a 400 home run guy for that matter). So it’s not automatic. No MVP, three Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger awards, just not enough in my opinion. Only five All Star selections, which is the baseline where I would even consider to be Hall of Fame material. However he is a Sabermetrics hero, 47th All time career batting average, 17th all time in on base percentage, 25th all time in slugging percentage, and 13th all time in slugging percentage plus on base percentage.
His stats are closest to Edgar Martinez, Will Clark and Johnny Mize. While all of them had brilliant careers, they are simply not Hall of Fame material. I’m going to be brutally honest, not only is he not Hall of Fame material, he’s probably not going to last on the ballot long. I’m not going to lie, his average is outstanding, but really does he belong in the same building as the greats? No he doesn’t in my opinion.
I think that society as a whole has become more lenient to voting in players of late. Blyleven was an outstanding pitcher, he just isn’t Hall of Fame worthy. Toss Andre Dawson in that mix as well. Great hitter, just doesn’t belong with the greats of all time. Personally I feel the Hall of Fame should be the greatest ever to play the game. The litmus test for me is simple, Was this hitter in the same league as Ruth, Ripken, Gwynn, Brett, Mantle, etc.. Unfotunately for Todd, it’s an emphatic no.
Todd Helton will always be one of my all time favorite players. He took a Rockies franchise that was floundering and became it’s first big star. He carried the team on his back for years and although that makes him a very good player, he is just not a Hall of Famer. So I throw it out to my readers, can you make any argument that would make him Hall worthy? Or is your opinion the same as mine?