I had a couple of days away from the world. We went up to Banff, stayed in a very nice hotel, saw Tom Jackson do his Christmas show, and enjoyed the area, even if they got a ton of snow while we were there. We even took the gondola up to the top of Sulphur Mountain (it was very cold up there and windy, but the view was great).
I brought my computer along but didn’t turn it on.
I’m going to skip a couple of players who are on the ballot for the first time:
Carl Crawford: Carl was a good player. He had a 15-year career, played 1716 games. Hit .290/.330/.435 with 136 home runs, 123 triples and 480 stolen bases. He had a 39.1 career bWAR.
He made four All-Star teams, got MVP votes twice (finishing seventh once), had a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger. Carl played for four MLB teams, Rays (nine seasons), Dodgers (four) and Red Sox (two).
At his peak, he was very good. He had a 7.0 bWAR in 2010, and five seasons of 4.0 to 5.0 WARs in the six seasons before that. But, other than that seven-season run, he never had a bWAR over 2.5.
To me, he was a good player, someone I’d like on my team in his prime, but not quite a Hall of Famer.
Prince Fielder is another who had a great peak to his career but the peak didn’t last long enough to make him a Hall of Fame type, in my book.
Prince had a 6.3 bWAR in 2009. And had two more seasons with WARs over 4, but he only had four seasons with WAR values over 3 and three seasons with WAR values in the negatives.
Career, Fielder played 12 seasons (a neck issue ended his career young), had a .283/.382/.506 batting line, with 319 home runs, 847 walks (he had over 100 walks in three seasons) and 1155 strikeouts. He had a 50 home runs season and a 46 home run season. He drove in over 100 runs in six seasons (and drove in 141 runs once). And he had two seasons with an OPS over 1.000.
Prince was an All-Star six times, got MVP votes six times (finishing third twice and fourth once) and won three Silver Sluggers.
Without the neck issues, he might have built up the bulk numbers to give himself a good shot at the Hall. As is, I don’t see him getting always near the 5% needed to keep his name on the ballot for a second time.
Next on the ballot is Todd Helton.
It is Helton’s third time on the ballot. He got 44.9% of the vote last year. So he’s moved up from 16.5% to 29.2% and now 44.9%. He could make it to the Hall in a couple of years at that rate. But I’m expecting his vote growth to slow. He is likely to get there, though.
Todd was one of those rare players who played their entire career with one team. Seventeen seasons, all with the Colorado Rockies.
Helton hit .316/.414/.539, with 2519 hits (98th in MLB history), including 369 home runs (80th in MLB history) in 2247 games. His career bWAR is 61.2.
He hit .315/.380/.430 in 152 games and finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting in his rookie season.
Two years later, he hit .372/.463/.698 with a league-leading 216 hits, 59 doubles (also league-leading), 42 home runs, and 147 RBIs (league-leading). He finished 5th in MVP voting.
Todd would make five All-Star teams, win three Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, and get MVP votes six times.
He had a streak of five straight seasons with OPS over 1.000.
Like many guys in the Hall of Fame, he had a very high peak and then continued his career-long enough to build great career numbers.
The question is how much the Writers will discount his numbers because he played in Denver all his career. Larry Walker finally made it. Helton likely will too.
The NL had some good first basemen in his era. I’m not sure where to rank him against Albert Pujols and Jeff Bagwell. Well, I guess I do. Pujols and Bagwell were better players. But Helton wasn’t all that far behind.
Would you vote Todd Helton into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
This poll is closed