Highway to Helton Looking Good in '09

Peter ScaliaContributor IApril 5, 2009

DENVER - JUNE 30:  First baseman Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies prepares to take the field against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field on June 30, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Padres defeated the Rockies 15-8.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

After spending the majority of a decade carrying the Colorado Rockies franchise on his back, All-Star first baseman Todd Helton started to feel pain and numbness in his leg caused by a bulging disk. Helton, after hitting an anemic .264 last season which was 16 points lower than his previous worst (1997), decided to have back surgery in the offseason.

Just five months after his surgery, Helton entered Spring Training re-energized. Helton ripped up the Cactus League hitting .525 with four home runs and 16 RBI.

Helton should be a shoo-in for the Comeback Player of the Year Award, and should reach 2000 hits (43) and 500 doubles (29) at some point this season. If your are a fantasy owner and Helton managed to slip through the draft day cracks snag him up immediately.