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Helton named NL Player of the Week

Helton named NL Player of the Week

After relatively slumping for much of the first half, Todd Helton is on pace to finish with his lowest overall numbers since 1998, his first full season in the Major Leagues.

But you can't say he hasn't been trying to make up for lost ground. Helton batted .400 in July, .357 in August and .419 in September entering Monday. He has raised his average to .322, fourth in the National League, after finishing the first half with a .288 mark.

He finally was recognized for his stellar play last week, when he led the league with a .519 average (14-for-27) and on Monday was named the Bank of America National League Player of the Week for Sept. 19-25.

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Helton led the league with 14 hits, eight runs scored and a .567 on-base percentage. He tied for the league lead with 25 total bases. He hit two home runs, three doubles and one triple, producing nine RBI and a .926 slugging percentage in seven games.

The highlight of Helton's week was a four-hit game against the Giants on Sept. 23. It was the 29th four-hit performance of Helton's career. He laced four singles, scoring a run and driving in two more during the Rockies' 7-6 loss.

Helton hit a two-run home run against the Padres the day before. It was his only hit in three at-bats, but it provided the winning margin in a 4-2 victory. The lefty slugger is currently riding a 12-game hit streak.

To win the award, he beat out nominees including a pair of teammates -- Luis Gonzalez and Matt Holliday -- as well as Aaron Heilman of the Mets (1-0, 0.00 ERA, two saves), Lance Berkman of the Astros (.435, two home runs, nine RBI), Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies(.448, four doubles, four RBI), and Chad Tracy of the Diamondbacks(.423, five doubles, seven RBI).

Ben Couch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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