Scott Rolen’s Hall of Fame induction in 2023

After 47 votes failed in the elections in 2022, Scott Rollin He will look to make further progress towards the final honor at Cooperstown as he appears in the Baseball Writers Association of America Hall of Fame for the sixth time.

Rolen once emerged as a long shot for the Hall of Fame, receiving just 10.2% of the vote in his first year of eligibility in 2018. But the seven-time All-Star has been on a steady rise in the years since, receiving 17.2% in 2019. , 35.3% in 2020, 52.9% in 2021 and 63.2% last year.

With Rolen progressing toward the 75% mark needed for election, here are five reasons why he deserves a place among the game’s all-time greats in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

He is one of the greatest defensive basemen in history
Rolen’s fielding prowess is in the hot corner at the center of his Hall of Fame nomination. He has won eight Gold Glove Awards, the fourth-most all-time among third basemen behind Brooks Robinson (16), Mike Schmidt (10) and Nolan Arenado (10).

The numbers back the Rolen’s award set. He scored 21.2 Defensive War in his big league stint and 114 Defensive runs saved from 2003 through the end of his career in 12. DRS numbers are not available prior to 2003, so the first six seasons of Rollin’s career do not count. But it is still ranked Sixteenth in MLB (all functions included) since 2003.

He was also a solid hitter
While not at the level of elite hot corner batsmen like Schmidt (148 OPS+), Eddie Matthews (143), Chipper Jones (141) and George Brett (135), Rollin was an excellent offensive player in his own right.

From his 1997 NL Rookie of the Year-winning campaign through 2004, when he finished fourth in NL MVP voting, Rolen averaged 28 homers and 102 RBIs per season with a collegiate slash of .287/.379/.524 and 133 OPS+. While his production stalled in his 30s, he finished his career with a 122 OPS+. That in and of itself would not be enough to elect him. But when you think about what he’s done on the other side of the ball, the whole package is Hall of Fame caliber.

He’s in Elite Company all the time on the offensive
Rolen didn’t even come close to some of the counting milestones that usually make a hitter a lock for Cooperstown (barring any overruns that might complicate the nomination of said hitter), dropping more than 900 scores short of 3,000 and nearly 200 shy of 500.

However, Rolen is one of only 35 hitters with at least 2,000 hits, 300 homers and 500 doubles. Twenty-one of these hitters are in the Hall of Fame. Of the 14 who are not, four (Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano and Adrian Pelterie) are not yet eligible to be considered, and four (Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez) have been linked to PEDs.

The remaining six are Dave Parker, Luis Gonzalez, and four players currently on the BBWAA ballot: Todd Hilton, Jeff Kent, Carlos Beltran, and Rollin.

He stacks up well against other third basemen
with 70.1 war According to Baseball Reference, Rolen ranks 10th among third basemen behind nine Hall of Famers and Beltré, who are not yet eligible but are likely to be a first ballot candidate.

Rolen is a better than average third baseman inducted into the Hall of Fame in both career WAR and peak seven-year WAR, as well as jawthe scale created by Saber scientist Jay Jaffe as a means of gauging a player’s worthiness in the Hall of Fame by comparing it to players of his position who are already enshrined.

Although he placed among the league’s top 10 players in WWII only three times in 17 seasons—tenth in 2002, third in 2004, and ninth in 2006—Rollin was consistently productive throughout his career. He had at least a 4.0 WAR in 11 seasons, tied with Wade Boggs for third among third basemen. The only third to have more than that are Schmidt and Matthews with 13 each.

He was one of the best players in baseball during his heyday
Rolen produced 46.2 WAR from 1997-2004, averaging 5.8 WAR per season. Only two center players have had more in that period: Bonds and A-Rod. In other words, Rolen went through an eight-year stint during which he was MLB’s leader in WAR among position players not associated with PEDs.

Rolen enjoyed his best season in 2004, slashing . 314/. 409/. 598 (158 OPS+) with 34 homers and 124 RBI over 142 games with the Cardinals. Its output was worth 9.2 WAR. In many years, Rolen’s production would have made him a top MVP contender, but the ’04 NL field was stacked. Seven NL players have recorded at least an 8.0 WAR, a mark considered MVP-caliber on baseball’s WAR reference scale.

Bonds (10.6 WAR) won his fourth straight MVP award after hitting . 362 with 45 homers, 232 walks, and a 1.422 OPS. He was followed by Beltree (9.6 wars, 48 ​​wars, 1.017 hours) and three Cardinals – Rollin, Pujols (8.5 wars) and Jim Edmonds (7.2 wars).

Leave a Comment