Is Todd Helton the next Colorado Rockies Hall of Famer?

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DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 19: Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies rounds the bases on his solo home run off of Edward Mujica #44 of the St. Louis Cardinals to tie the score 6-6 in the ninth inning at Coors Field on September 19, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Cardinals 7-6 in 15 innings. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 19: Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies rounds the bases on his solo home run off of Edward Mujica #44 of the St. Louis Cardinals to tie the score 6-6 in the ninth inning at Coors Field on September 19, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Cardinals 7-6 in 15 innings. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /
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DENVER, CO – AUGUST 30: Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies stands at first base in the ninth inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field on August 30, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies beat the Reds 9-6. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – AUGUST 30: Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies stands at first base in the ninth inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field on August 30, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies beat the Reds 9-6. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Superpower #1: Patience

Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies /

Colorado Rockies

The way that baseball players are evaluated now is radically different than it was during the vast majority of Helton’s career. His main offensive superpower – taking walks – is more respected by the newer generation of writers that have entered the voting pool over the last few years.

Helton finished his career with 1,335 bases on balls, good for 36th all time. This is even more impressive when compared to the fact that he only struck out 1,175 times (a mere 213th all-time). He twice led the league in OBP and finished in the top five eight times.

He led the league in total times on base three times, finished in the top six eight times, and for his career is a remarkable 55th all-time, ahead of even the majority of other Hall of Fame hitters. Of the 54 players above him on that list, 52 are either in the Hall, on the ballot, or not yet eligible.

Patience at the plate is also a skill that doesn’t receive any kind of boost from Coors Field, which has historically shown lower walk rates than other parks. This aspect of his game – and HoF case – doesn’t seem to get the attention that it deserves. Helton’s batting eye places him in truly elite historical company, yet still he’s regarded by many as simply a product of his environment.

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