Scott Rolen had rough first year on the Hall of Fame representing the Cincinnati Reds.
The Cincinnati Reds already have a third baseman in the Hall of the Fame in Tony Perez. Now a second third baseman is eligible. It is Scott Rolen.
Rolen came to the Reds from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Edwin Encarnacion. GM Walt Jocketty made the deal because of their work together in Saint Louis. Rolen gave the Reds the leadership they needed to make the playoffs in 2010.
In Rolen’s first go around on the Hall of Fame ballot he received 10.2 percent of the votes. He needed five percent to stay on the ballot next year. He would have needed 75 percent to get voted into the Hall of Fame.
Rolen didn’t have much chance of making it this season. The one shoo-in was fellow third baseman Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves. Corner infielder Jim Thome was also voted in along with outfielder Vladimir Guerrero and former Reds’ farmhand Trevor Hoffman.
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The Reds could take credit for Hoffman. He retired with the most saves in MLB history. When the Reds drafted him, he was a position player. Then they moved him to pitcher and left him exposed in the expansion draft for the Miami Marlins.
Scott Rolen has a chance to make the Hall of Fame because of his playoff run with the Cincinnati Reds.
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Rolen’s claim to fame was his defense. Over the course of seventeen season, he won the Gold Glove eight times. He also made the All-Star team seven times,
Besides his defense, Rolen was known as a competitor. He made the playoffs with both the Saint Louis Cardinals and the Reds. He demanded a trade from the Philadelphia early in his career because he didn’t feel they wanted to win.
Offensively, Rolen had good numbers. He batted ,281 with an OBP of .364.
He also has a career WAR of 70, which is higher than the average WAR of Hall of Fame third basemen at 67.5.
On the down side, he only had 2.077 career hits. He also never won an MVP award. His 1997 National League Rookie of the Year Award gives him enough cache to get in on the discussion.
Whether or not Rolen makes the Hall, he is more deserving than 10 percent of the votes. This year Jones and Thome held him down. Next year, maybe his defense will shine through, or maybe not so much.