The Colorado Rockies have a few players that could win an MVP award.
Nolan Arenado teases fans nearly every year. Trevor Story’s gotten in on the action, and even Charlie Blackmon has played peekaboo in the race.
The tale, outside of Larry Walker’s run, is an old one for Colorado. All it took for the outfielder was a season in which he led the league in on-base percentage (.452), slugging (.720), total bases (409) and home runs (49). Easy, right?
For these Rockies, it hasn’t been.
Each year, something’s gone wrong for the stars of Colorado. It was Christian Yelich escaping from Miami to light the league ablaze; Cody Bellinger riding a hot start to stardom and even Giancarlo Stanton crushing everything in the zone holding them back.
Since only 2015, eight Rockies have finished in the top-12 of MVP voting. Arenado leads the way with five of his own, but Story has accomplished it twice and Blackmon finished fifth in 2017.
Arenado’s been held back the most by his home park. In each of his five seasons near the top of voting, he had a park-adjusted on-base plus slugging (OPS+) of at least 124. Bellinger posted a 167 in 2019 and Yelich finished at 164 in his own award season.
In 2000, when Helton finished at 8.9 WAR – the highest mark in the NL – he ran up against the buzzsaw of Barry Bonds’ 188 OPS+ and Jeff Kent’s somewhat questionable candidacy which was inflated by 125 RBI and a .334 average.
If Helton had his breakout season in 2020, rather than 2000, it would’ve been quite the case. At that time, analytics and truly breaking down baseball player’s value just wasn’t as stringent.