clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Looking ahead to the Rockies on the 2025 Hall of Fame Ballot

Colorado Rockies news and links for Thursday, January 25th, 2024

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Mercifully, finally, and much deservedly, Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Lynn Helton is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Tears have been shed, hugs have been dispensed, and the Toddfather will be inducted into Cooperstown with 79.7% of the vote, having appeared on 307 ballots from members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

As the offseason returns to the doldrums before pitchers and catchers report in a few weeks, we can look to the future. Helton will have his induction ceremony on July 21st and will be celebrated at Coors Field on August 17th. Also looming in the future is the 2025 Hall of Fame ballot.

The 2025 ballot will include 14 returning players from this year’s ballot as well as many newcomers. Among the newly-eligible will be four former Colorado Rockies.

Ian Desmond

Shortstop, outfielder, and occasional first baseman, the longtime Washington National won three Silver Sluggers and appeared in two All-Star Games during his career but never put up the more eye-catching numbers expected for enshrinement. Desmond hit just .263/.315/.427 with an OPS+ of 95 during his 11-year career and accumulated 16.2 WAR.

Rockies fans will remember Desmond for his three-season tenure in the Mile High City in which owner Dick Monfort signed him to a five-year, $70 million contract to man first base—a position he had never played professionally.

While it may be remembered as a disaster, Desmond wasn’t actually that bad with the Rockies. From 2017 to 2019 he hit .252/.313/.429 with 49 home runs, 13 triples, and 63 doubles and terrorized the San Diego Padres. His 15 home runs against the Padres are the third-most against any team in his career. Desmond opted out of the 2020 and 2021 seasons, forfeiting the final two years of his contract and salary before retiring.

Mark Reynolds

The journeyman “Sherriff of Swattingham” only spent more than two seasons with a team twice in his 13-year career: four with the Arizona Diamondbacks and three with the Rockies. Despite being prone to high strikeout numbers—he led the league in strikeouts four times—Reynolds was a solid hitter with a good power stroke. He hit double-digit home runs in all but one season. A career .236/.328/.453 batter with 298 home runs and an OPS+ of 103, Reynolds spent three of his last four seasons with the Rockies. He was a key member of the 2017 return to Rocktober, posting a .839 OPS over 148 games and swatting 30 home runs with 97 RBI.

Troy Tulowitzki

Every Rockies fan thinks about what could have been had shortstop Troy Tulowitzki just been able to stay healthy. The Rockies’ franchise shortstop seemed bound for Cooperstown after his first five full seasons, during which he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting—a snub he shares with Todd Helton—and came in fifth for 2009’s MVP race. He was also a two-time All-Star, Gold Glover, and Silver Slugger while hitting .295/.366/.513 with 121 home runs, 150 doubles, and 437 RBI from 2007 through 2011.

Then the injuries struck.

From 2012 to 2019, Tulo played more than 100 games in a season just three times. In his 2012 campaign, he made only 47 appearances and Josh Rutledge ended up as the team’s primary shortstop.

However, he was still extremely productive for the Rockies. From 2012 to 2014, he hit .316/.399/.551 with an OPS+ of 144 and 54 more home runs. He was also named an All-Star two more times.

In 2015, Tulowitzki was infamously and abruptly traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in a move that burned the bridge between him and the Rockies organization. He vowed to never speak with the team again.

“I’ll never talk to [GM Jeff Bridich], never talk to those people,” Tulowitzki told USA TODAY Sports. “You get lied to, straight to your face, you get upset. I believe in forgiveness, but at the same time, I don’t plan on being friendly with them, or anything like that.’’

Tulowitzki played two and a half injury-plagued seasons with the Blue Jays, the most productive and healthy of which was a 131 game 2016 where he hit 24 home runs. He was released after missing the entirety of the 2018 season and took 13 plate appearances with the New York Yankees in 2019 before retiring.

Carlos González

A three-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glover, and two-time Silver Slugger, Carlos González is one of the greatest Rockies of all time. He had enormous shoes to fill when he was acquired from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Matt Holliday but became an immediate difference-maker. The “Little Pony” hit .284/.353/.525 in his first season with the Rockies and never slowed down.

CarGo was a .290/.349/.516 hitter over ten years with the Rockies while playing the third-most games in franchise history behind Todd Helton and Charlie Blackmon. He’s on the team’s leaderboard for virtually every offensive statistic and had an OPS+ under-league average in just three of his 12 big league seasons.

González had his best season in 2010 when he took home the National League batting title with a .336 average and 197 total hits while placing third in MVP voting. Rockies fans will best remember when he wrapped up the month of July by completing the cycle with a walk-off home run.

Although his bat speed and hitting began to diminish in his final seasons, González was still a key contributor for the Rockies’ playoff contention in 2017 and 2018. He then departed in free agency but was unable to hang on to a big league roster spot. González had brief stints with the Cleveland Guardians and Chicago Cubs in 2019. In 2020 he signed with the Seattle Mariners prior to spring training but failed to make the roster.

Carlos González may have quickly left the league after leaving the Rockies, but his impact throughout his career was genuine. The Rockies have yet to re-issue his No. 5 jersey five years later and it may someday find itself in the rafters at Coors Field.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to determine who will drop off the ballot after failing to collect the required five percent of the vote and who will survive to be on multiple ballots. After all, Matt Holliday was a career .299 hitter with a 132 OPS+, four Silver Sluggers, a batting title, an NLCS MVP, and seven All-Star appearances under his belt, but he still fell off the ballot after getting just four total votes in his first year of eligibility. At least Rockies fans will be able to discuss the possibilities and contributions of these four former players throughout the next year (or more).

★ ★ ★

How football helped Helton reach Cooperstown | MLB.com

The latest excerpt from Thomas Harding’s newsletter explores Todd Helton’s background in football. Although his good grades and football paved his way in college as the University of Tennessee’s starting quarterback, Helton realized he would probably never be an NFL quarterback. Baseball was his true love and he was encouraged to follow his heart.

For 5-time All-Star Tulo, Helton has all the hallmarks of HoFer | MLB.com

Though his relationship with the Rockies may have soured, Troy Tulowitzki had nothing but praise for his former teammate Todd Helton. Tulowitzki praised Helton’s work ethic, leadership, and skill while discussing his worthiness of Hall of Fame induction.

“For me, being a player, I look at [a Hall of Famer] as, ‘Was he a completely different player?’ And [Todd] was different. He was the best hitter on the team. He could work an at-bat like I’d never seen. And he was a Gold Glover at first base.”

★ ★ ★

Please keep in mind our Purple Row Community Guidelines when you’re commenting. Thanks!