Any ballplayer who will earn more than $150 million in the next nine years had better be worth it, and first baseman Todd Helton fits the bill. Last season -- a misery for the Colorado Rockies -- Helton added a National League batting title and 49 home runs to his resumé, and he is, by a long shot, the most valuable member of the Rockies' Big Four, which includes right-fielder Larry Walker and starters Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle. Helton's long-term contract guarantees stability; his faultless work ethic, superb defense and winning personality guarantee the fans' approval even in off years. He's only 28; he has the highest career batting average (.334) of any present major-leaguer, and the best years of all might still lie ahead.
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