Strike 3: We’ll find out in early January if the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America will finally get their collective act together and vote former Rockies great Todd Helton into the Baseball Hall of Fame, where his plaque should already be dusty. When that overdue call finally comes, it will be better late than never.

Rockies fans will celebrate when the Greatest Rockie of all joins the most talented Rockie ever, Larry Walker, in Cooperstown.

But there’s still a question that should be asked: What is Helton’s future with the Rockies as a coach/front office guy?

Over the past couple of seasons, Helton has been working closely with former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle down on the farm. They’ve spent a lot of quality time with Rockies minor leaguers, giving personal, hands on instruction – working on player development the old fashioned way. Helton appears to enjoy it, making it clear that he likes working with young players who aren’t yet totally set in their ways, and are open to instruction from someone who did it as well as almost anyone ever has.

He doesn’t spend any time in Denver, and rarely sees the big league team play.

Remember, Helton was a tactician at home plate. Supreme bat control, knowledge of the strike zone and hitters instinct. And this was before any laptops or spreadsheets were involved and telling him what he should be doing. He didn’t need algorithms to try to figure out how the opposition was going to try to pitch him that night. He used what was between his ears.

His career batting average was .316, and he recorded over 2,500 hits.

In his day, Todd Helton understood that striking out wasn’t “just another out,” as many in the analytics crowd still try to get us to believe. Helton knew that making an out without putting the ball in play hurt his team, especially when it happened with someone on base. Over 17 years, the five-time National League All-Star struck out just once for every eight plate appearances.

To put that in context, former Los Angeles Dodgers MVP Cody Bellinger has struck out almost twice that often during his seven year career.

Like all standout players, Helton had natural, God-given ability that very few possess. However, he also had a work ethic and knowledge of the game that anyone who truly wants to can duplicate. That’s what he’s trying to pass down.

There’s a reason that so few former greats turn out to make great coaches. Most succeeded largely because of that natural ability, and when they became coaches or managers, they got frustrated with players that couldn’t do what they could do. It takes someone who can put his past and his ego aside, take a down-to-earth approach, and be willing to share knowledge and insight. Guys who want to rest on their laurels need not apply.

It’s highly unlikely that Todd Helton will ever become a big league manager. By his choice. He may spend time as a big league instructor, ala Vinny Castilla, but those who know him say he likes the minor leagues much better. Away from the spotlight, but in tune with the young hitters.

The Rockies could benefit greatly – once again – from his work ethic.