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Friday, September 21, 2012

Phillies Nation: Writer’s Roundtable: Is Jimmy Rollins Worthy of the Hall?

Rollins: Ten or more years madness.

Eric Seidman: Jimmy Rollins has 48.6 WAR in his career, which ranks 12th among shortstops in the expansion era (1961-now). However, he also has at least another three years left to play on his current deal. Assuming he averages the conservative estimates of 3 WAR, 140 hits, 20 SB and 13 HR per season, he would be at around 58 WAR, 2,450 hits, 470 SB and 240 HR. His WAR total would place him 8th among shortstops in the pre-defined expansion era, which when coupled with his all-star appearances, gold gloves, MVP and World Series title, seems like it should be enough.

However, he would also be right behind Alan Trammell in that WAR leaderboard, and Trammell is one of the posterchildren for players who deserve to get in but haven’t. It’s going to be hard to imagine voters considering Jimmy when they have mostly ignored Trammell. Rollins has had a fantastic career and he is undeniably one of the best Phillies of all-time, but he seems destined for that Trammell-territory of being deserving and getting HOF support each year but not getting in.

Corey Seidman: No Hall of Fame for Jimmy Rollins. The last four shortstops inducted into Cooperstown were Barry Larkin, Cal Ripken, Ozzie Smith and Robin Yount.

Ripken was a tremendous hitter for his position and had a streak that will probably never be broken. Smith was the best defensive shortstop ever. Yount hit .305 during a nine-year peak and played the two hardest positions other than catcher. Larkin was a .295 career hitter who made 12 All-Star teams.

J-Roll is not on that level, counting numbers or no counting numbers.

As Eric said, Rollins will fall into the Alan Trammell category. This is the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Very Good. You can’t convince me that Jimmy Rollins is one of the best 300 players in the history of baseball. Sorry.

Repoz Posted: September 21, 2012 at 09:30 AM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof, phillies

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   1. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: September 21, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4241940)
Didn't RTFA, but Rollins strikes me as having a pretty low peak for a potential HoFer. The quoted section seems to be using fWAR, and though he had a very nice 5 year run from 2004 to 2008 (5.2, 4.5, 4.8, 6.9, 5.6), I'm not seeing him as a likely candidate. Classic case of a guy who did everything above average, but nothing overwhelming except for his baserunning. I do think he has a much better case than Johnny Damon, and it does look like he might get to 2500 hits.

The next HoF shortstop is going to be Derek Jeter, followed by Alex Rodriguez (if you count him as a shortstop). That's going to make it very difficult for Rollins to shine by comparison.
   2. Shoebo Posted: September 21, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4241967)
I wouldn't predict ANY "convicted" steroids guy gets into the hall of fame until after the first one gets in.
   3. UCCF Posted: September 21, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4241994)
The next HoF shortstop is going to be Derek Jeter, followed by Alex Rodriguez (if you count him as a shortstop). That's going to make it very difficult for Rollins to shine by comparison.

Are we writing off Omar Vizquel at this point? I think he's still got a puncher's chance, though he's going to be one of the ones hurt by the expected ballot backlog that's coming.
   4. The District Attorney Posted: September 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4242002)
I think Vizquel is like a 95% chance. Any SS with 2,874 hits and 11 Gold Gloves would in all probability go in anyway (they love hits, and they love long-lived shortstops, and they love good defensive shortstops...), plus people seem to be nuts about him on a personal level.

Re: Rollins: We asked my 3-year-old nephew to do something the other day, and he said "how about no?" It was pretty funny.
   5. GregD Posted: September 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4242010)
On Vizquel, I would guess closer to punchers than 95% but what do I know? He's a very unusual player; I guess it's fitting that Aparicio is his best comp, and that's good news for him. I wouldn't bet on him being better than Davey C, who didn't get anywhere, but voters may think differently.
   6. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: September 21, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4242014)
Are we writing off Omar Vizquel


I've always said, since there are baseball players older than me and fatter than me, then I must not be that old or fat. With Omar's retirement at the end of this season, there will be no MLB players older than me. For this reason, I wholeheartedly endorse Omar Vizquel for the Hall. He kept me young for another year. I also endorse Bartolo Colon, compared to whom I am positively sveldt.
   7. jacjacatk Posted: September 21, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4242032)
Jamie Moyer hasn't officially retired yet, FWIW.
   8. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4242034)
Given that Rollins hasn't had a 3 WAR season since 2008 (although he might get there this season) why is that the "conservative estimate" for his number?
   9. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4242037)
Given that Rollins hasn't had a 3 WAR season since 2008 (although he might get there this season) why is that the "conservative estimate" for his number?

I was wondering that, too. 3 WAR is very optimistic.
   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 21, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4242044)
I also endorse Bartolo Colon, compared to whom I am positively sveldt.

You look like a skinny prairie?

Sorry, just having some fun with words at your expense over the conflation of svelte and veld(t).
   11. andrewberg Posted: September 21, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4242056)
Jamie Moyer hasn't officially retired yet, FWIW.


He sat at the table next to me at Voula's cafe for breakfast a couple weeks ago. Not the type of place you go to get back into playing shape, unless you're playing bowling.

I think the best chance for Rollins would be hanging around for a few years, then hitting a one-year dry spell as the top guy who didn't get in the year before. He has enough markers (MVP, ring, AS games, hits) to be a compromise guy. Not sure if that year will come for him.
   12. Chris Fluit Posted: September 21, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4242070)
Rollins has the MVP. That certainly helped boost the candidacies for both Larkin and Sandberg. He's also played with only one franchise (so far). That's another thing that has stood out for voters in the past. I don't think he's quite there but he's not too far off.
   13. AROM Posted: September 21, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4242082)
Looking at BBref, Rollins has either 40.7 WAR or 39.5. That's a little weird, I get the first number from his player page, the second number from a play index search for guys who played 75% of games at short, at least 1500 career games, OPS+ over 90 (Rollins 98) and Fielding runs > 0 (Rollins +45).

Either way, he's nowhere close to Trammell (67.1) and no real chance of catching him unless he's allowed to use Barry Bonds' training methods with impunity. He'd need to repeat his 2007 MVP season each of the next 5 years (ages 34-38) to pass Trammell.

The player he's closest to, by career to date, is Alvin Dark (98 OPS+, +34 fielding, 1828 games). Travis Jackson is another close one (in the HOF, but not a selection to brag about). Another close one is his exact contemporary, Rafael Furcal (96 OPS+, +63 field).
   14. BDC Posted: September 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4242095)
Current comps for Rollins: middle infielders, centered on him in terms of PAs and OPS+, ranked by WAR Fielding Runs, and some speed numbers included for the heck of it:

Player          Rfield   PA OPS+  3B  SB       Pos
Dave Bancroft       93 8248   98  77 145    
*6/457
Dick Groat          48 8179   89  67  14    
*6/543
Jimmy Rollins       45 8196   97 105 403     
*6/4D
Jim Gilliam         41 8322   93  71 203  
*457/983
Al Dark             34 7833   98  72  59 
*65/74391
Chris Speier        33 8155   88  50  42    
*654/3
Maury Wills          1 8306   88  71 586     
*65/4
Buddy Myer          
-1 8190  108 130 157   *465/79
Joe Sewell          
-4 8333  108  68  74     *65/4
Jay Bell           
-12 8525  101  67  91   *64/53D
Tony Taylor        
-37 8501   88  86 234  *45/376D
Ray Durham         
-94 8423  104  79 273     *4/D8
Michael Young     
-128 7995  104  55  89    645D/


Some overlap with the Maury Wills list I did for a Wills thread awhile back. Dark, as AROM notes, is a very close comp. The two HOFers are Bancroft (a better glove; not in the HOM) and Sewell (an HOMer with a significantly better bat, at the outer range of my search). The list is populated by your basic heck-of-a-ballplayers who could make substantial contributions to a championship club, as many of them in fact did.
   15. Loren F. Posted: September 21, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4242111)
Nothing against Rollins, but a stretch of bWAR of 4.5, 4.7, 4.5, 6.0, 5.3, which is light on Black Ink, is not a Hall of Fame peak. He looks better by WAR than traditional stats because WAR highlights his defensive and baserunning value, but HoF voters don't by and large use WAR. By traditional stats, he also has no real "peak" or "prime" case: he's been an All-Star just three times and he could have been considered the best SS in the league for just two or three years before Tulo took over that position. So his best bet would be as a compiler of counting stats, but even then I have a hard time believing he'll even get to 50 career WAR (which is still too low) -- unless he ages like Jeter has from ages 34-38 (which is very unlikely).
   16. rconn23 Posted: September 21, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4242122)
He didn't deserve the MVP he got. He had a 119 OPS + and got on base at a .344 clip. He won because he played every game, scored a ton of runs and had a sudden surge in home runs.

Also should be pointed out that he's had four lousy seasons. He's not even close to HOF. I don't care how good his defense is.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 21, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4242142)
Rollins would seem to have pretty much the same case as a non-steroidy Miguel Tejada, and about as much chance.
   18. ecwcat Posted: September 21, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4242211)
This article is another WAR illusion.
   19. Srul Itza Posted: September 21, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4242218)
I was wondering that, too. 3 WAR is very optimistic.


You are looking at bWAR. The speaker was looking at fWAR, which is higher for Rollins (and others) because, I believe, of a lower replacement level.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: September 21, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4242613)
That's a little weird

This happens with P-I all the time. From the very beginning, I'm surprised you've never noticed before.

Sean, if you're listening, P-I needs an update. There are way too many stats you can't access through P-I, most obviously oWAR and dWAR given the whole point of those is to be able to rank across positions. It would also be good to be able to do P-I on more self-constructed rate stats -- for hitters we're still limited to selecting based on K-rate or BB-rate but not both.
   21. booond Posted: September 21, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4242636)
He won because he played every game, scored a ton of runs and had a sudden surge in home runs.
Really helped my fantasy team that year, too.
   22. Karl from NY Posted: September 21, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4242674)
If Vizquel reaches 3000, he'll go in. Not first ballot, but he'll debut with at least 20% and climb from there.

Without 3000, probably not. He's not enough of a story, same as Trammell. Unusual player but not Unique and Unprecedented like say Eckersley or Ichiro.

Both of the above apply to Rollins as well. I'd say that Rollins has a shade of a chance of being the first 3000 BBWAA excludee, but then the VC will get him eventually.
   23. AndrewJ Posted: September 21, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4242692)
Using the Bill James Favorite Toy method, Rollins has a 10% chance at 3,000 hits. He's on pace for about 2,600 career hits. Assuming he spends his career in Philly, that would be a franchise record.
   24. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 21, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4242695)
On Vizquel, I would guess closer to punchers than 95% but what do I know? He's a very unusual player; I guess it's fitting that Aparicio is his best comp, and that's good news for him. I wouldn't bet on him being better than Davey C, who didn't get anywhere, but voters may think differently.

Vizquel will be interesting to watch. I suspect he'll be left out, both because of the upcoming logjam and because no player from the MVP voting era has received so little MVP support (3 total balloting points in his career) and been elected by the BBWAA. But precedent is not a guarantee, and he does have the superficial similarity to both Aparicio and Ozzie that his supporters can use to build a case for him.

He does seem pretty likely to be selected by some iteration of the VC at some point.
   25. Darren Posted: September 21, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4242736)
I had somehow decided a while back that both Rollins and Victorino were overrated "winners" who "hustled." But looking at both of them with WAR, it's easy to see how both guys are really good at a few different facets of the game, making them really good (maybe even underrated) players.
   26. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 21, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4242741)
Is Rollins any better than Tony Fernandez?
   27. Walt Davis Posted: September 22, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4242768)
I've written more about Vizquel and the HoF than I care to remember. The gist:

1. Historically speaking, the BBWAA loves defensive SS -- Maranville, Aparicio, Ozzie and Concepcion hung on the ballot all 15 years. By traditional standards, Vizquel is a great defensive SS -- i.e. 2nd most GG to Ozzie. So he's in the mix and you'd think should do at least as well as Concepcion.

2. That said ... Marnville was the greatest; then Aparicio; then Ozzie ... and nobody thinks Vizquel was as good defensively as Ozzie. It's hard to see the BBWAA getting excited about putting in the 2nd best defensive SS who didn't hit.

3. Aparicio is not a bad comp ... and Aparicio has one of the strangest voting histories ever. He was steadily climing then jumped from 41 to 67% in one year; he jumped another 17% the next year. Those are two of the biggest single-year jumps in HoF voting history.

4. Vizquel gets dinged for few AS appearances. That's kinda fair and kinda not. It was a great era for SS in the AL but, after Larkin, there was nothing in the NL. He'd probably have 10 AS appearances if he'd been in the NL all those years. He'd probably have done better in MVP voting too without various combinations of ARod, Nomar, Jeter, Tejada around.

I think he'll do pretty well. Like I said, at least as good as Concepcion (which is similar to Mattingly or Parker). I don't know that he'll make much progress -- he might jump for a couple of years, then Jeter will hit the ballot and he'll drop. Then he'll climb again and ARod will hit the ballot and he'll drop. Plus the backlog. But he seems a pretty good bet for a VC induction.
   28. GregD Posted: September 22, 2012 at 01:03 AM (#4242771)
1. Historically speaking, the BBWAA loves defensive SS -- Maranville, Aparicio, Ozzie and Concepcion hung on the ballot all 15 years. By traditional standards, Vizquel is a great defensive SS -- i.e. 2nd most GG to Ozzie. So he's in the mix and you'd think should do at least as well as Concepcion.
Concepcion's highest tally was 16% right? I'd buy that as Vizquel's high total.

Is Rollins any better than Tony Fernandez?
He's got him beat on peak stats (6.0, 5.3, 4.7 vs 4.8, 4.8, 4.3) and will soon pass him in career WAR, so I guess so, but I admit my heart isn't really in it. If I had to draft one, hmm.
   29. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 22, 2012 at 02:55 AM (#4242781)
Trammell not being in the HOF is just nuts. What an embarrassment for everyone involved.
   30. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 22, 2012 at 07:06 AM (#4242794)
Is Rollins any better than Tony Fernandez?

They're similar as hitters. Rollins is a better basestealer (he's a better basestealer than most people - 403 SB, 83 CS), has been more durable, and has stayed at shortstop longer. Fernandez has career length (although that probably won't be true for long). If you give any weight to postseason performance, Fernandez has a fairly substantial edge there, highlighted by an 11th-inning homer to win the pennant for the '97 Indians.
   31. Adam B. Posted: September 22, 2012 at 07:52 AM (#4242802)
But Eric J, Tony Fernandez never had Henry Hill react to a playoff highlight of his. Overall, Rollins has been very good in Division Series, and less so in LCS/WS.

There's one sure future HOFer on this Phillies squad -- Halladay -- and a few possibles: Utley, Howard, Lee, Hamels, Papelbon. Rollins isn't one of them.

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