Todd Helton Should Be Retiring After This Year – But With His Head Held High!
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Wednesday February.27, 2013
Todd Helton, the Rockies first round draft choice in 1995, has been a staple in the Rockies lineup ever since his first full season in 1998. A batting champion, 5 time All-Star, 3 time Gold Glove winner, and the holder of many Rockies team records, plus he should be the first player to ever have his number retired by the Rockies after he retires. The question is, when should he retire?
Helton is clearly ending his career in the near future. His 2012 numbers were definitely not where they need to be, especially considering the boost that he gets from playing in Coors Field for half of his games (he hit a dismal .208 on the road last season). You could blame his struggles last season on his injuries, but even then you have to ask yourself if he will be able to recover, and if the injuries permanently damage his ability to play the game.
Todd Helton 2011 Highlight Mix –
Top Leaderboard of active MLB’ ers that Helton Appears:
|Rank||Player (yrs, age)||On-Base Plus Slugging||Bats|
|1.||Albert Pujols (12, 32)||1.0220||R|
|2.||Joey Votto (6, 28)||.9680||L|
|3.||Todd Helton (16, 38)||.9640||L|
|4.||Jim Thome (22, 41)||.9560||L|
|5.||Miguel Cabrera (10, 29)||.9557||R|
|Rank||Player (yrs, age)||Doubles||Bats|
|1.||Todd Helton (16, 38)||570||L|
|2.||Bobby Abreu (17, 38)||565||L|
|3.||Derek Jeter (18, 38)||524||R|
|4.||Scott Rolen (17, 37)||517||R|
|5.||Alex Rodriguez (19, 36)||512||R|
|6.||Albert Pujols (12, 32)||505||R|
|7.||David Ortiz (16, 36)||482||L|
|8.||Carlos Lee (14, 36)||469||R|
|9.||Adrian Beltre (15, 33)||463||R|
|Rank||Player (yrs, age)||On-Base%||Bats|
|1.||Todd Helton (16, 38)||.4189||L|
|2.||Joey Votto (6, 28)||.4155||L|
|3.||Albert Pujols (12, 32)||.4141||R|
|4.||Lance Berkman (14, 36)||.4086||B|
|5.||Joe Mauer (9, 29)||.4050||L|
|6.||Jason Giambi (18, 41)||.4034||L|
|7.||Jim Thome (22, 41)||.4019||L|
|Rank||Player (yrs, age)||Bases on Balls||Bats|
|1.||Jim Thome (22, 41)||1747||L|
|2.||Bobby Abreu (17, 38)||1456||L|
|3.||Jason Giambi (18, 41)||1334||L|
|4.||Todd Helton (16, 38)||1295||L|
|5.||Alex Rodriguez (19, 36)||1217||R|
|Rank||Player (yrs, age)||Total Bases||Bats|
|1.||Alex Rodriguez (19, 36)||5414||R|
|2.||Derek Jeter (18, 38)||4723||R|
|3.||Jim Thome (22, 41)||4667||L|
|4.||Albert Pujols (12, 32)||4206||R|
|5.||Todd Helton (16, 38)||4124||L|
Based on this, some may even feel that he should retire now. This isn’t entirely a bad idea, but he is just finishing a 3 YR / $33.6 Million contract, and will be a free agent after the 2014 season. Although he may want to keep playing after this season, I doubt the Rockies will want to give him any sort of guaranteed contract, and he probably won’t want to go to another team.
Todd Helton has always been an under-the-radar player. Very soft-spoken, he has led with his actions on the field more than with his voice in the clubhouse. Up until the DUI charge earlier this year, he remained relatively out of media attention, and that’s probably the way he likes it. With this in mind, it may be in his best interest to wait out the whole season to retire, in order to be remembered as the greatest Rockies players to date, rather than the guy who had to retire after a DUI charge.
Helton’s numbers are amongst the best versus his peers in the last 16 years. Yes, the Hall of Fame voters will hold his Coors Field numbers against him, however he hit everywhere he went on the road as well. If #17 would have played in New York or Chicago – he would be nationally revered. Colorado Rockies fans will see his number retired – and it will be that much sweeter since he played his whole career in Denver. Out of the 20 years the franchise has been around, the 1st Baseman has been around for 80% of the history. The Rockies should have a place in the front office for life. He was also still one of their best hitters when Colorado made their improbable 2007 World Series run before being swept by the Boston Red Sox.
What Rockies fans have to remember is that Todd Helton has given a lot to the Rockies organization, and they owe him patience and respect during what will likely be his final season in the MLB. He still has good value as a leader in an organization with many young, impressionable players, so don’t let his stats fool you into thinking he isn’t valuable. In an organization who isn’t exactly in line for a championship run, players like Helton are vital to have in the clubhouse.
(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners*)
A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Rockies Correspondent’ Jon Schifferle for preparing today’s featured article. John is a college student that grew up in Northern California and he has been a Giants fan for as long as he can remember. Two of his greatest memories were going to Game 1 of the 2010 World Series, and Game 2 of the 2012 World Series. he loves to watch prospects and the draft, and started his own blog called A Giant Perspective here . John loves to write about all aspects of the game. His dream is to eventually work in baseball in some capacity. Being a West Coast guy, he is able to watch all of the late games out there and have a vast knowledge of the AL and NL West especially. Feel free to follow Jon on Twitter and talk about the game of baseball Follow @jonschifferle
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Posted on February 27, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2007 World Series, @jonschifferle on twitter, all - time OBP leaders, all-time MLB doubles list, ALL-Time OPS Leaders, baseball hall of fame, boston redsox, chicago, colorado rockies, Coors Field, jon schifferle, new york yankees, NL Batting CHampion, NL Gold Glove Award Winner, NL Silver Slugger Award winner, the toddfather, todd helton. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.