FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. How can you analyze Helton’s chances of being traded without noting his much poorer road numbers? He has always hit a lot worse on the road. Even with his decline in hitting in Coors, he’s still over 100 OPS points worse on the road:

    2006 .266/.360/.421/.781, 7 HR in 271AB, 39 AB/HR, -195 OPS differential
    2007 .308/.407/.460/.868, 8 HR in 302 AB, 38 AB/HR, -129 OPS
    2008 .262/.389/.342/.731, 2 HR in 149 AB, 75 AB/HR, -105 OPS

    Unless a hitter’s park team like the Reds, Phillies, or Rangers trade for him, his numbers should drop precipitously into replacement level territory, particularly for a 1B as he has been subpar and below average on the road for two of the past three years, with no HR power. And for that he’s making nearly $19M per season, it’s a huge albatross of a contract (as you noted), paying for superstar production but getting not even average production.

    The Rockies would probably have to eat at least $10M per year, if not $12-15M, in order for another team to take on a declining hitter (on-base or no on-base) who will be officially 35 for next season, and has been slowly declining since he turned 31 (or about the time when the crackdown on steroids started; a radio announcer once tied his name to steroids and it was around then that suddenly Pudge Rodriguez, another reputed user, slimmed down).

    This kind of reminds me of Willie Mays end of his career, his HR power dried up and he was left working to get a walk and boost his OBP up way high, keeping his value going.

    But how bad is that, a “power” hitter who couldn’t even get his SLG over his OBP on the road as Helton did in 2008? It may be bad luck, but with his BABIP down below career norms in two of the past three years, perhaps it’s more father time, than bad luck.

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — September 11, 2008 @ 12:07 pm

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