Former Cardinals’ 3B Scott Rolen
Scott Rolen is a 3rd baseman who performed predominantly within the 2000s and is thought primarily for his stints with the Cardinals and the Phillies. Rolen is likely one of the most underrated gamers of all time and has been on the poll for the Corridor of Fame for 5 years, happening six. Annually, the variety of votes for him has risen. He acquired as much as 63.75% in 2022, solely about 12% away from entering into Cooperstown. The projections make it seem to be he shall be entering into the Corridor of Fame both this yr or subsequent, however, for my part, it shouldn’t have taken this lengthy. First, let’s take a look at some primary stats, taken from Baseball Reference, and the place he ranks all-time amongst third basemen.
You need to take these stats with a grain of salt as a result of stats like RBIs and Runs, whereas useful in a roundabout way, by no means inform the entire story. these stats, it is sensible why he’s not within the Corridor of Fame. However I need to acknowledge that Scott Rolen is high 20 in virtually each main hitting statistic, inserting the very best in SLG at sixth. These stats kind an overview of the participant that Scott Rolen is.
Some good stats to take a look at when fascinated about Corridor of Fame eligibility are WAR and JAWS. In response to MLB.com, “WAR quantifies every participant’s worth by way of a selected variety of wins, and since WAR components in a positional adjustment, it’s effectively fitted to evaluating gamers who man completely different defensive positions”. MLB.com additionally defines JAWS, stating, “JAWS stands for ‘Jaffe WAR Rating System’ and is a stat that measures a participant’s Corridor of Fame worthiness by evaluating him to the gamers in his place who’re already enshrined”. To calculate it, you’re taking a participant’s profession WAR averaged along with his 7-year peak WAR. The upper, the higher, for each stats.
In 2022, right here was the common for third basemen within the Corridor of Fame:
Scott Rolen has a JAWS at 56.9, barely above the common HOF third basemen, and a profession WAR at 70.1, which is high 10 amongst third basemen all-time. He even locations sixth in Defensive WAR amongst this group.
Are you continue to not satisfied? Let’s evaluate Scott Rolen one-on-one to 2 different third basemen already in Cooperstown. My objective right here is to not show that Scott Rolen is healthier than these guys, however to point out that he’s simply corresponding to them. First, Ron Santo:
As you possibly can see with the offensive classes, they’re almost equivalent. Ron Santo has a slight edge offensively, however Rolen blows him out of the water in TZR, one in all my favourite defensive stats. In response to MLB.com, TZR is the variety of runs above or under common the participant was value primarily based on the variety of performs made. Scott Rolen, whose TZR is tied for twenty fifth all-time for ALL positions, far exceeds Santo on this stat. Ron Santo is just not even within the high 400. Now, let’s take a look at a third baseman who was nice defensively, Brooks Robinson:
Brooks Robinson is the all-time chief in TZR, with the following closest being Andruw Jones at 253. Brooks Robinson is clearly among the finest, if not the very best, defensive gamers of all time. Robinson is clearly first amongst third basemen in TZR, however Rolen is fourth. If you take a look at the offensive numbers, you see Scott Rolen far exceeds Brooks Robinson in each class. Scott Rolen has a transparent edge offensively, and Robinson has the clear edge defensively. With each of those Corridor of Fame third basemen, as I stated earlier than, you possibly can see Scott Rolen simply compares to them and is arguably higher.
An argument may very well be made saying that the aforementioned gamers performed in numerous eras of baseball. Truthful level. Let’s evaluate Scott Rolen to among the finest third basemen of the trendy period, possible first-ballot Corridor of Famer Adrian Beltre:
We as soon as once more see some comparable offensive numbers, with Scott Rolen having an honest edge over Beltre. Adrian does have the defensive edge, however I feel it’s a toss-up between these two unbelievable third basemen. On that time, why is Beltre a possible first-ballot Corridor of Famer, and Scott Rolen continues to be on the poll after 5 years?
In response to Jay Jaffe of Fangraphs, the rationale Scott Rolen is just not within the Corridor of Fame is due to his lack of awards and milestones. The one main milestone he reached was 2000 hits, and he minimize it fairly shut. When it comes to awards, he had 8 All-Star appearances, 7 Gold Gloves, and 1 Silver Slugger, and he received ROTY in 1997. That’s not at all dangerous, however he lacks an MVP and lots of offensive awards. Why did he solely win one Silver Slugger? That’s as a result of the folks successful that batting award on this timeframe have been Albert Pujols, Chipper Jones, Miguel Cabrera, and David Wright, a few of the finest offensive third basemen to ever play the sport. All of those gamers overshadowed Rolen, particularly offensively. As for MVP, there isn’t any clear cause apart from he simply was by no means the very best participant, simply among the finest. He positioned within the high 20 of MVP voting 4 occasions, along with his highest placement coming in 2004 when he positioned 4th.
Is Scott Rolen the very best participant of all time? No. The perfect third baseman of all time? No. However is Scott Rolen ONE of the very best third basemen of all time? Sure, completely. Clearly, he doesn’t evaluate to somebody like Chipper Jones or Mike Schmidt, however Scott Rolen is corresponding to, if not higher than, half of the third basemen enshrined within the Corridor of Fame. He deserves a spot in Cooperstown, and it’s time the baseball world realizes that.