There’s one example of a Coors bias that doesn’t make much sense.
But here’s how some writers will view Helton. Ryan Fagan of SportingNews.com released an article explaining his ballot. While the transparency in why you did or didn’t vote for someone is always great (and Ryan answered plenty of people’s questions on Twitter about this), he didn’t give Helton the same benefit of the doubt as he did for other similar players he did vote for, specifically Bobby Abreu.
In his article, he notes that Abreu had a drop-off in his 30s but doesn’t necessarily hold that against him. He also notes Abreu falls short of the average bWAR for a Hall of Fame right fielder but has seen enough in his career to vote for him for a second year.
Meanwhile, in his critique of Helton, he goes straight to Helton’s splits as a cause for concern (while stating he hates doing so) and calls out Helton’s late-career drop-off as the reason he left him off the ballot.
It’s a frustrating way to look at things between the two and, to me, it’s is a disingenuous way to evaluate a player’s career. If we only looked at a player’s drop-off in the second half of their career, then that should spell immediate trouble for guys like Ichiro Suzuki and Albert Pujols. Is it going to? Absolutely not because that’s ridiculous. But here’s how each Helton and Abreu compare:
Helton’s first 8 full seasons
48.2 bWAR (6.0 per season), 149 OPS+, 266 HRs (33 per season), 1,244 games
Helton’s last 8 seasons
13.8 bWAR (1.7 per season), 111 OPS+, 98 HRs (12 per season), 968 games
Abreu’s first 8 full seasons
45.2 bWAR (5.65 per season), 141 OPS+, 187 HRs (23 per season), 1,255 games
Abreu’s last 8 seasons
14.6 bWAR (1.8 per season), 115 OPS+, 98 HRs (12 per season), 1,096 games