On Sunday, Rockies stalwart Todd Helton notched the 2,500th hit of his career. Fittingly, it was a double—Helton now has 584 of them, good for 17th on the all-time list. This benchmark and the likelihood that Helton won’t reach the next one (he’s 40, not hitting much these days and in the final year of his contract) raise the matter of Helton’s Hall of Fame chances.
In vacuum, it would be an easy call. After all, those hits and those doubles plus a career slash line of .317/.415/.540, three Gold Gloves and no whiff of PED use (always a consideration these days, given recent voting habits), Helton would be an easy admit. However, Helton has spent the majority of his career at Coors Field, a mile above sea level, and not in a vacuum. Insofar as his Cooperstown merits are concerned, there’s no getting around the fact that of his 9,366 career plate appearances, 4,793—51.2 percent—have come in the most hitter-philic environment in baseball history.
Larry Walker’s recent plight before the voters—he was named on just 21.6-percent of ballots last time—suggests that Coors Field does indeed carry with it a punishing discount for a hitter, which is as it should be. With Helton, though, will that discounting be enough to keep him out? Let’s have a look at some numbers.
Posted: September 01, 2013 at 10:29 PM | 79 comment(s)
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