Todd Helton has been arguably the only bright spot during a recent stretch that has seen the Rockies offense tumble into oblivion. In July, Helton had a triple slash line before Friday night's game of .340/.450/.460 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with one HR and 6 RBIs. Granted it has only been 50 ABs, but Helton is showing everyone that he can still handle himself at the plate when he's feeling healthy.
His second deck solo home run on Tuesday, against Marlins phenom and ace Jose Fernandez, showed that he's still got plenty of pop left in that old bat of his as well. It's been a struggle for Helton in recent years with nagging injuries that have sidelined the once perennial bating champion and robbed him of his once prolific power. Still, Helton remains a feared hitter if nothing else because of his excellent eye and ability to still hit for a high average.
Helton may be in his final season with the Rockies (although he isn't ready to concede that this is his last year) so it should be noted that Helton is enjoying his best month average-wise since August of 2009, when he hit .343.
Helton is hitting .264 on the season, a far cry from his career .318 average, but he's raised his average this month by 21 points. It's no secret that one of the Rockies biggest black holes offensively this season has been first base. Helton's struggles coupled with his early season replacement Jordan Pacheco, have really hurt the Rockies offense.
However, if Helton can stay healthy and hot at the plate, the Rockies first base situation for the remainder of the season might not be as bad as it once seemed. He still needs his occasional rest days and therefore it is vital that his replacement be effective, but having a productive Helton can go a long way in steadying this Rockies lineup.
It's somewhat curious that while Helton has enjoyed a resurgence, the rest of the offense has basically fallen asleep. However if the three All-Stars heat back up and you add Helton's bat to the mix, this lineup all of a sudden could start producing in a major way once again.
Now as I mentioned, 50 ABs is a very small sample size to get overly excited about. It's just as likely that Helton could come right back down to that .250 clip we have seen him at all year prior to now. Even if that were to be the case, Rockies fans should enjoy a vintage stretch from Helton while it lasts, as it could be his last.
Helton was cited as saying he feels better then he has in years in a recent Denver Post article and if he truly is healthy then it's not out of the question to expect him to hit well the rest of the way. We all know that a healthy Todd Helton can still be a productive bat. Just reference 2007 and 2009, his last two non-injury plagued years.
Helton can also still pick it at first base and as much as I love Michael Cuddyer, he's no Helton at first. Plus, it is better for there to be stability in the infield and on offense and it's not always good to have to move players around constantly to fill in gaps in a lineup. The best chance for this Rockies offense to get going is as it has been many years in the past. Let old number 17 show the way.