Cincinnati Reds third baseman Scott Rolen is blocked from Hall of Fame

Scott Rolen Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Scott Rolen Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Former Cincinnati Reds third baseman Scott Rolen is only third best third baseman on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot.

When Scott Rolen was with the Cincinnati Reds, they were contenders for the playoffs.  They made it twice in his full three seasons with the club.  He only made it twice in his fourteen seasons that he wasn’t with the Reds.

Speaking of playoffs, Chipper Jones is on the Hall of Fame ballot along with Rolen this year.  In 12 of his 19 MLB seasons Jones made the playoffs with the Atlanta Braves.  That includes an eleven year streak from year two through year twelve.

Chipper’s career achievements are literally amazing.  Starting in 1995 when he finished second to Hideo Nomo of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chipper received MVP votes in thirteen seasons, winning it and the Silver Slugger in the same year of 1999.  He also made the All-Star team for the National League eight teams, but missed out the year he was the NL MVP.

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The other player that some voters will compare Rolen to is Jim Thome, who spent the first 6 of his 22 MLB seasons playing the hot corner for the Cleveland Indians.  Thome hit 612 career home runs and led the American League in walks on 3 separate occasions.  He also received votes for AL MVP in nine different seasons, but he never finished higher than fourth.

Scott Rolen was at the tail-end of his career when he played for the Cincinnati Reds, but those years helped his resume.

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With seventeen MLB seasons Rolen actually played the shortest time of the three.  He played for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Saint Louis Cardinals, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Reds.  The Phillies drafted him in the second round of the 1993 draft and had to pay him a premium bonus to convince him to de-commit from playing basketball at the University of Georgia.

While Rolen was an eight time All-Star and the NL Rookie of Year winner, he was better known for his defense.  Rolen is among the best third basemen in MLB history.

Only Brooks Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles and Mike Schmidt of the Phillies have more Gold Gloves.  Rolen won eight NL Gold Gloves to Schmidt’s ten.

Where Rolen is less than stellar compared to other Hall of Famers is his offense.  He never led either league in any major statistical offensive category.  He won the Silver Slugger in 2002 and made seven All-Star Games, but was never the man, so to speak.

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Rolen scores a 99 on the Jamesian Hall of Fame Monitor.  That means he is one point short of making the Hall.  More likely, he is still a year or two away from collecting enough votes for his defense.