Colorado Rockies: A look at the Hall of Fame case for Todd Helton

7 Mar 1999: Infielder Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies swings at the ball during the Spring Training game against the San Francisco Giants at the Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Arizona. The Giants defeated the Rockies 10-9.
7 Mar 1999: Infielder Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies swings at the ball during the Spring Training game against the San Francisco Giants at the Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Arizona. The Giants defeated the Rockies 10-9. /
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28 Jun 1998: Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies looks on during an interleague game against the Oakland Athletics at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Athletics 11-10. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr /Allsport
28 Jun 1998: Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies looks on during an interleague game against the Oakland Athletics at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Athletics 11-10. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr /Allsport /

What about his numbers outside of Coors Field?

In just looking at the stat OPS, which is on-base percentage and slugging percentage added together, at Coors Field, Helton’s average was a staggering 1.048 for his career. If that were his total OPS for his entire career (home and road), only three players in the Hall of Fame would be better than Helton.

Their names are Babe Ruth (1.164), Ted Williams (1.116), and Lou Gehrig (1.080).

However, on the road, his OPS was .850.

Stop the presses. His OPS was 200 points lower on the road. “Don’t let that man in the Hall of Fame!” –A BBWAA voter, probably.

But on closer inspection, that is still a very high number. The average Hall of Famer’s total OPS is .841. If Helton were to be inducted, three guys directly below him would be Orlando Cepeda, Tony Gwynn, and Reggie Jackson. Just above him would be Billy Williams, Jim Rice, and Al Kaline.

Overall, though, his career OPS is .953. That puts him at 19th all time.

Here’s a breakdown of the 18 ahead of him: 12 are Hall of Famers, 2 are currently playing, 3 aren’t in because steroid allegations (Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, and Mark McGwire), and the only other one…is another former Rockie in Larry Walker (but his Hall of Fame case is another examination soon).

The four players below him are Jeff Bagwell (HOFer), Mel Ott (HOFer), Miguel Cabrera (still active but he’ll be a HOFer five years after he retires), and Ralph Kiner (HOFer).

So, now that we have proven that Helton is a Hall of Famer on the offensive front, let’s look at his defense.

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