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Jim Furtado
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Todd Helton Newsbeat

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The rest of this season could make or break Joey Votto’s Hall of Fame case

Votto has had his detractors, people who don’t ascribe to sabermetrics, people who say he walks too much. Perhaps these people could knock Votto as well for the Reds not winning any championships during his career, though great players don’t always experience this. Until this season, Votto’s critics have mostly looked misguided…

Others needed their mid to late 30s to solidify their Hall of Fame cases or watch them collapse.

Take Hernandez, who looked like a Hall of Famer through his 20s, but declined badly in his mid-30s, tallying -0.2 Wins Above Average after turning 33. He retired at 36 and has never rated as a serious Hall of Fame candidate, though he has supporters who could point to him as one of the most underrated first basemen in baseball history. There’s a chance Votto could be his generation’s Keith Hernandez.

Then there’s Helton who was good for a cumulative 1.2 Wins Above Average from his age-32 season through the end of his career. For the more traditionally-inclined, Helton averaged 30 homers, 102 RBI, and a .337 batting average through 2005. For his remaining eight seasons, Helton averaged 12 homers, 61 RBI, and a .289 batting average. It’s like a tale of two totally different careers. The fact that all of it came for the Colorado Rockies is probably enough to prevent Helton from coming remotely close to a Hall of Fame plaque with the Baseball Writers Association of America when he becomes eligible in the fall of 2018.



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