Examining former Reds infielder Scott Rolen's candidacy for the Baseball Hall of Fame

The Cincinnati Reds Scott Rolen takes to the on-deck circle.
The Cincinnati Reds Scott Rolen takes to the on-deck circle. / Jeff Swinger via Imagn Content Services,

We'll find out this evening which players punched their ticket to Cooperstown. Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch will reveal the Baseball Writer's selections at 6 PM ET on MLB Network. A player who made great strides last year was former Cincinnati Reds third baseman Scott Rolen. Let's take a look at the infielder's candidacy.

The most prominent names we're likely to see today are Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, and David Ortiz. All four are controversial and the possibility remains that, for the second consecutive year, no one is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Examining former Reds 3B Scott Rolen's candidacy for the Hall of Fame.

Scott Rolen made a huge leap last year. The former Cincinnati Reds third baseman surpassed the 50% mark in 2021, going from 35.3% to 52.9%. That 17.6-point increase from 2020 to 2021 bodes well for Rolen, who needs 75% in order to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Another increase like that would see Rolen on the doorstep of baseball immortality.

Rolen's resumé speaks for itself. The now-46-year-old hit .281/.364/.490 in his 17 big league seasons. Rolen has 297 career home runs and 1,194 RBIs. Rolen, who retired as a member of the Reds following the 2012 season, spent time with the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, and Toronto Blue Jays. This is Rolen's fifth year on the ballot.

The stat heads really like Rolen. His 70.1 bWAR, which is 0.4 behind Hall of Famer Ron Santo, will certainly help his case. Rolen has a higher lifetime batting average than Mike Schmidt, more career home runs than Wade Boggs, and more Gold Gloves than Chipper Jones.

I know, Chipper Jones wasn't known for his defense, but Scott Rolen certainly was. While defense takes a back seat to offense in today's game, it must be stated that Rolen's eight Gold Gloves are something to marvel. Rolen took home one of those during his first full season with the Cincinnati Reds (2010).

Will Scott Rolen be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

It might not happen for Scott Rolen this year, but I believe, in time, the former Cincinnati Reds infielder will be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. With the notable and controversial names like Bonds, Clemens, and Schilling coming off the ballot one way or another this year, you have to feel good about Rolen's chances moving forward.

Furthermore, Rolen is viewed by many in a different light than those previously mentioned superstars. Both Bonds and Clemens are tied to performance enhancing drugs, and while Schilling's on-the-field credentials should be enough to put him in Cooperstown, his post-career exploits have a great many voters wanting to keep him out.

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Rolen on the other hand, is seen as a guy who "played the game the right way". That, combined with his stats may be just enough to get him into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year. I, for one, am pulling for Scott Rolen...just so long as his bust in Cooperstown doesn't don a St. Louis Cardinals' cap.