Todd Helton Fantasy Baseball First Baseman
Todd Helton is a fantasy baseball machine. Of all players currently active in MLB, he has the highest career batting average. Only Hall of Fame inductee Tony Gwynn has a higher career average since World War II. Todd Helton holds virtually every Colorado Rockies offensive record, serving as the first "great" player on the expansion Rockies.
One might be tempted to take points off from Helton's 11 years of service with the Rockies for the fact that he performs at Coors Field. While the thinner air in the Mile High City might inflate Helton's home run totals somewhat, Todd's hallmark is his contact numbers, not his power numbers.
Whatever the case, fantasy owners aren't going to grouse about artificially inflated numbers due to a ballpark. Those are the kind of advantages those of us in fantasy baseball exploit.
The 2000 Season for Todd Helton
Helton had a magical year in the year 2000, when he led the majors in batting percentage, hits, doubles, total bases, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and RBI's. His .372 average that year signalled to the league that a rare talent was on display in Colorado.
The 2001-2004 seasons saw Helton maintain MVP levels of play. Despite posting .362 and .349 years in 2003 and 2004, Helton lost the batting titles those years to Albert Pujols (.363) and Barry Bonds (.362). This continues a series of near-misses for Todd Helton over this 4 year stretch, where he was edged out on other occasions by such luminaries as Bonds and Sosa. For this reason and the fact that he plays for middle-of-the-pack Rockies teams, Helton was not always given the recognition other great players get.
Todd Helton In Decline?
Helton's 2005 and 2006 seasons have seen a decline in production. His 2005 season was marred by a slow start and an injury, though he did hit .378 over one 70-game stretch. 2006 saw his numbers decline even further, to the point the Rockies were willing to trade their franchise player to the Boston Red Sox. That never happened, though a trade remains a possibility to this day. Fantasy owners should keep in mind that Helton might eventually relocate to another team.
Todd Helton's Statistics
Todd Helton has 8 home runs and 49 RBI's in 85 games with the Rockies in 2007. His career stat line is .331 career average with 32 homers and 112 RBi's per year. Though he has dropped out of the top tier of fantasy players, Helton remains a solid addition to most fantasy line ups. For leagues which give points for defensive stats, Helton is a 3-time Gold Glove winner at 1st base.
Todd Helton Trivia
Coming out of high school, Helton turned down an offer from the San Diego Padres. Instead, he attended the University of Tennessee to play baseball and football. He was the back-up for Tennessee quarterback, Heath Shuler, who was the 3rd overall selection in the 1994 NFL Draft. Shuler is now a Tennessee representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.
While playing football for the Volunteers, Helton was briefly starter when Jerry Colquitt took over for the graduated Shuler in 1994. Helton got injured, giving way to the 3rd string quarterback, Peyton Manning. Manning never gave the job back, and Helton began to focus fully on baseball.
Helton was drafted with the 5th overall pick in the 1995 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies. He was on the Rockies major league roster by 1997, and has never returned to the minors.