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Examining Todd Helton's career peak

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Did Todd Helton's best years rank high enough or last long enough to aid his HOF case? Or is it quite the opposite?

Doug Pensinger

The Hall of Fame buzz is dying down a bit now and far too much of, in this writer's opinion, was grounded in the topic of PED use. To steal another line from Aaron Sorkin, "I hate this issue, it's like walking around town holding a sick chicken."

And since I'm pretty sure most of us here would like to talk about baseball and not drugs -- and since the MLB appears to be going through a 40 Days of Night period when it comes to non-drug related news -- I thought I would provide some more debate fodder by introducing a few pieces of evidence I plan to use in a future "Helton for HOF" article.

I hope for that piece to be all-encompassing so it is still a little way off. For now, I'd like to start laying the groundwork and getting some early responses so I know where the holes in the case may be.

One of the arguments I've come across while defending Todd's Hall chances is that his peak wasn't as long or as dominate as either his peers or just as a general standard for the Hall of Fame. But I come bearing graphs!

Todd Helton's career OBP compared to league average

<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=comparison&num=3&h=450&w=450&position=1B&page=1&players=432" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=432&position=1B&page=1&players=">FanGraphs</a> -- <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=432&position=1B">Todd Helton</a></span>

Todd Helton's Career SLG compared to league average

<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=comparison&num=4&h=450&w=450&position=1B&page=2&players=432" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=432&position=1B&page=2&players=">FanGraphs</a> -- <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=432&position=1B">Todd Helton</a></span>

And because I know some people won't accept any stats that aren't weighted to try and accommodate for Coors Field (even though I'm not yet convinced that this is what weighted stats actually do) here is another graph:

Todd Helton's career wOBA compared to league average

<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=comparison&num=4&h=450&w=450&position=1B&page=8&players=432" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=432&position=1B&page=8&players=">FanGraphs</a> -- <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=432&position=1B">Todd Helton</a></span>

Hey, in a league full of cheaters, that's not so bad!

(Disclaimer: DC is aware that he cannot prove Todd Helton to be free of PED use nor can he prove any player is guilty who hasn't outwardly admitted PED use nor can he say beyond a shadow of a doubt that any PED use changed the nature of any particular record, win total, or career but he has grown weary of having to carve out exceptions to something that should never have been a rule because the game got so dirty everyone from an entire era is implicated and guilty by association from Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire to Todd Helton and Juan Pierre....really Juan Pierre?)