Blog Entry

Revitalized Todd Helton enjoying power surge

Posted on: May 14, 2011 1:16 pm

By Evan Brunell

Todd Helton is far from the Helton of old, but is proving to be a nice revelation for the Rockies this season. The lifelong Rockie has been debilitated by injuries for so long that his days as one of the game's elite power-hitters is a distant memory, but he's still a capable addition to Colorado's lineup.

Now 37, Helton is hitting .308/.367/.509 on the season with four home runs, flashing power not seen since 2005. Interestingly, he's currently pacing to post a career-worst walk rate of 6.7 percent, but the Rockies will gladly exchange the .400-plus OBP for a few more longballs, especially as the team is currently struggling to win games and put runs on the board. Helton's mitigating his low walk rate by striking out much less than he has over the course of his career. After last season's career-high mark of 22.6 percent, he's all the way down to 10.9 percent, behind only his first full season way back in 1998, when he struck out just 10.2 percent of the time.

Helton left Friday's game with left-calf tightness after doubling in the sixth for his ninth on the year, but it's not considered to be serious. That's a good thing, as Jason Giambi can't sustain a starting job any longer and the team needs Ty Wigginton at third base. Helton's even holding his own against left-handed pitchers despite a disparate platoon split.

Helton may once have been considered a potential 500-home run hitter, especially as Coors aided his way toward 221 blasts in six seasons for 40 percent of his career total despite playing into his 15th season. That's what bad back problems will do to you, as the most games he's played in over the past three years are 2009's 151, with 2008 checking in at 83 and 2010 at 118. This year, he's pacing 144.

Helton originally signed a nine-year, $191.5 million deal with an option back in 2003 but ripped up the final guaranteed year of his deal -- this season -- in spring training of last season, converting his $4.6 million buyout for 2012 into a signing bonus while reducing his 2011 payout from $19.1 million to $6 million, with $13.1 million deferred. He also extended his deal an additional two years, getting paid $4.9 million in 2012 and $5 million in 2013. That saved the Rockies a ton of financial flexibility to field a winning club both this season and next year, but had minimal impact on the recent long-term extensions for Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.

At this stage in his career, Helton's value is mostly tied up in batting average with a career line of .324 and a discerning eye. That eye's gone by the wayside and his above-average power has ticked up, but it's too early to say whether this is an aberration or a new way of approaching things. Either way, his production so far this year has been a large reason why the team is still hanging onto first place, tied with San Francisco.

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Category: MLB

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 10:30 am

Revitalized Todd Helton enjoying power surge

Simply put i exceedingly relish a new submit.Truthfully intending up front to undergo more.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 7:19 am

Revitalized Todd Helton enjoying power surge

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Since: May 3, 2009
Posted on: May 16, 2011 12:29 am

Revitalized Todd Helton enjoying power surge

To 4theFences:  No, it was a headliner.  I was just tickled by the framing of the article in terms of "encouraging signs in Colorado" in the context of having just watched the Rockies cough up a 7-1 lead at home to the last place Padres, dropping to 3-9 in May.  It's a fine story, I was just poking a little fun at the timing! If you didn't notice, I do have respect for Helton and the Rockies.  I'm not usually one to rub it in when a rival hits a brutal stretch, and if anything, it's a back-handed gesture of respect.  I don't talk smack at little guys.  The Rockies are contenders, so don't get all twisted up with the dismissive, misappropriated condescension and name-calling.  What's all this "shallow, 6th grade education" talk?  Sometimes that sort of ad hominem pablum is the first resort of an undereducated person lacking in depth.   

To smf52:  I think you're calling me a moron because you misconstrued my jab at the framing and timing of the article, but all you really wrote was "That guy's a dummy and now here's my intimately knowledgeable, long-winded re-hashing of Todd Helton's recent hardship, perseverance, resurgence and character."  Yes, it's an admirable resurgence for Helton and a great story about a beloved franchise player who's still a formidable threat in the box.  I just had to laugh seeing a feature spotlighting him right as the Rockies have gone frosty mountain cold for the last two weeks.  I'm sorry if I err on the vaunting troll side of things.  I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings or get anyone all riled up or at all denigrate Helton.  Just talking a little smack about the tailspin the Rocks have been stuck in.  

But hey!  Helton stayed hot and went deep again today, getting the player of the game nod for his side.  There's a nice article about it. 

The Padres won the game 8-2 behind Mat Latos (1-5), but maybe just skip to the part about Helton and his homer.
Here's the link:



Since: May 3, 2007
Posted on: May 15, 2011 9:31 am

Revitalized Todd Helton enjoying power surge

  Good post smf52! I said the exact samething during spring training about Helton being healthy could earn him NL Comeback POY. True baseball fans would be happy for Helton or any player who has earn the respect he has. It doesn't matter who's uniform they are wearing when you have put up the numbers, played the game right and are the type of man he is, anyone should be happy for him.

Since: Oct 26, 2007
Posted on: May 15, 2011 12:48 am

Revitalized Todd Helton enjoying power surge

It looks like there are some morons in San Francisco.

I predicted in the preseason that Helton might be the comeback player of the year after his dedication to a monstrous offseason workout plan dedicated to strengthening his back so it could withstand the pressures of the season better. We are luckily getting to see some of the results. It is nice to see a player of Helton's stature rebound from such a horrible year and one that he considered personally embarrassing as he has always been a proud man. I thought if he couldn't do well this year after all that work and his numbers didn't improve he would probably retire. Right now, he is our most consistent hitter. I don't necessarily say that is a good thing as we need Cargo and especially Tulo to be our best and most productive hitters in order to win. It is soul satisfying though to see Helton being productive once again.

Since: May 3, 2007
Posted on: May 14, 2011 10:55 pm

Revitalized Todd Helton enjoying power surge

  News dull and boring in SF that you have to read the Colorado news? It's great to see a player of Heltons stature rebound from what he has gone through. We liked the story and are happy he is healthy and able to put up the numbers. It's to bad you are just too shallow to understand. Have fun with your 6th grade graduation next week Shooter.

Boiled Goose
Since: May 11, 2011
Posted on: May 14, 2011 9:14 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: May 3, 2009
Posted on: May 14, 2011 7:56 pm

Revitalized Todd Helton enjoying power surge

It is refreshing though to see a former superstar wrapped up in a fifty year, half billion dollar contract share the wealth and help his team and his city by taking less money in acknowledgment of his own declining contributions.  It's easily possible that there's far more to it and Helton's being given too much credit, but at least it looks good.  It sure seems like guys in the twilight of monster contracts generally remain far more interested in their lawyers and the financial security of their great, great, great, great, great grandchildren.  Guys in pinstripes and guys named Barry should rip out a page from this book.  

Since: May 3, 2009
Posted on: May 14, 2011 7:30 pm

Revitalized Todd Helton enjoying power surge

Oh yes, yes indeed, the 2011 re-emergence of Todd Helton.  What an unfortunate day to come out with a headlining fluff piece about encouraging signs in Colorado.  Having a hard time finding things to think about over there?

Giants, baby. 

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