What about Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira on the Hall of Fame ballot?
A-Rod’s the next biggest threat. Statistically he is undeniably a Hall of Famer, but he faces his own challenges as a PED user who used them after the big crackdown on steroids. We’ve seen how current voters have treated guys like Bonds and Clemens, whose steroid use is a little cloudier in terms of what was okay and what wasn’t. With Rodriguez, it was clear what was and wasn’t allowed when he took it. Will voters be more stringent with him than they are Bonds and Clemens? Or will they look past his PED use and focus more on how dominant his advanced stats are compared to everyone else around him? My gut tells me he starts slow, but ultimately he’s a threat to open spots that could be Helton’s.
The only other player I view as a potential threat is Mark Teixeira. This is only because he’s also a first baseman and doesn’t have the Coors Factor clouding certain voters’ judgement.
I don’t anticipate that Teixeira will make the Hall of Fame within his 10 years on the ballot, but I do expect that some voters will vote for him over Helton if they have a Coors bias. Teixeira’s numbers aren’t better than Helton’s by any means (50.6 bWAR vs 61.8 bWAR), but he’ll likely be on a few ballots where Helton is not. The impact from Ortiz and Rodriguez voters should be much larger.
While these three will have an impact on any progress for Helton this year, there are three other players whose presence on the ballot are going to have much larger of an impact this season.