Entering his fourth year on the ballot, former Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton will be looking to improve on his 44.9% share of votes from BBWAA voters. After making a sizable jump last season with two new spots open up on the ballot (thanks to Larry Walker and Derek Jeter), it was foreseeable that Helton would make a jump. But what’s in store for him this year? Should we expect that he’ll make another big jump and inch even closer to being elected to the Hall of Fame? Or are there other roadblocks in his way to making further progress?
Let’s take a look at how this year’s Hall of Fame ballot could shake out for former Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton
There aren’t a ton of new players on the ballot that may threaten Helton’s progress, but I do see three as a potential roadblock for Helton making progress this year:
The biggest threat of these three will be David Ortiz. While Big Papi doesn’t surpass Helton in terms of WAR (regardless of whether you’re using FanGraphs or Baseball Reference as the source) he is undoubtedly one of the biggest faces of baseball over the past 20 years who had many big moments in both the regular season and the playoffs. His advanced stats are more than respectable (55.3 bWAR, 51.0 fWAR, 140 wRC+, 141 OPS+) and he is certainly going to find his way on ballots whether it’s a 10 player ballot voter or a small hall guy.
The biggest question with David Ortiz is how voters will view him as someone who was mainly a designated hitter. His advanced stats don’t quite measure up the same as a guy like Edgar Martinez (who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2019) so if voters are using Martinez as a bar then Ortiz may be a touch underwhelming statistically. The DH label may be Ortiz’s own “Coors” factor that holds him back from some voters backing him. Ultimately I expect Ortiz to be elected at some point in his 10 years, but in the meantime I view him as the biggest threat of the newcomers to potentially steal votes from Helton as I’d assume more “traditional” voters are more likely to vote Ortiz than Helton if they haven’t added Helton to their ballot before.