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Obviously, he was very good offensively but, defensively, he also did very well.
He won a Gold Glove award three different times but that, quite honestly, doesn’t mean a whole lot. For example, Derek Jeter won a total of five Gold Gloves…and by Defensive Runs Saved, he is the worst fielder in all of baseball (regardless of position) since the stat was created in 2002…by 60 percent over the next worst fielder, who is, coincidentally Prince Fielder.
But for Helton, though, the numbers back up the awards (particularly in his first and last seasons in winning the Gold Glove).
In combining Helton’s Total Zone, or TZ (which is the main stat used to quantify fielding prior to 2002), and Defensive Runs Saved, or DRS (which was created just before the 2002 season), was at 61 TZ/DRS and 0 is league average.
Now, this isn’t to say that defense is really something that is looked at to the magnitude of offense (because Derek Jeter will waltz into the Hall of Fame next year because of his offense and his performances in October/November). But for Helton, is something that, if a voter is on the fence about him being a Hall of Famer, it could be something that puts him over the top.
Since balloting started, it is obviously hard to gauge where Helton will finish up on the balloting (he is on 3 of the 7 ballots made public, entering Tuesday morning). Personally, I would not bet that he will make it in this season and I would, quite frankly, be shocked if he gets more than 50 percent of the vote.
Whether it’s because ignorance, stupidity, or just a hatred for Coors Field, it’s a sad reality for Rockies fans and anybody that dons a Rockies uniform that they will likely not sniff the Hall of Fame unless something drastic changes.