MLB Hall of Fame: Breaking down the 2020 ballot

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 02: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees field a ball against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 2, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 02: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees field a ball against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 2, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) /

Todd Helton – second year on ballot (16.5% in 2019)

Todd Helton went from being Peyton Manning’s backup in college to having a stellar major league career.

Helton was a remarkably consistent player, failling to hit over .300 only five times in his 17 years in the majors. He was one of the top run producers in the NL, a true power threat even outside the launching pad known as Coors Field. Helton was also a remarkable first baseman, ranking in the top three all time in assists, double plays, and runs saved at first.

Yet, for his accomplishments, Helton was still relatively overlooked. He did earn a few accolades, as he was a five time All Star, won four Silver Sluggers, and three Gold Gloves. Yet, his .316/.414/.539 batting line, along with his 592 doubles, 369 homers, and 1406 RBI, do not garner the attention they deserve from the voters.

Perhaps this is due to the bias against players in Colorado. While Helton was markedly better at home than on the road, he still produced a very respectable .855 OPS away from Coors Field. That happens to be equal to the career marks of other MLB Hall of Fame candidates Jeff Kent and Scott Rolen. Helton, just from his road production, has the type of career that would generate consideration for enshrinement.

Yet, the Coors Field stigma remains. Todd Helton should remain on the ballot, but he is still being dramatically overlooked.