The next article is a part of Jay Jaffe’s ongoing take a look at the candidates on the BBWAA 2023 Corridor of Fame poll. For an in depth introduction to this 12 months’s poll, and different candidates within the sequence, use the instrument above; an introduction to JAWS will be discovered right here. For a tentative schedule and an opportunity to fill out a Corridor of Fame poll for our crowdsourcing mission, see right here. All WAR figures consult with the Baseball-Reference model except in any other case indicated.
Few gamers have ever been extra central to the Phillies than Jimmy Rollins. In truth, excluding Mike Schmidt, no participant spent extra time in a Phillies’ uniform than Rollins, and even counting the Corridor of Fame third baseman, none collected extra hits or stole extra bases. The pint-sized shortstop — 5-foot-7, 175 kilos based on Baseball Reference — spent 15 of his 17 main league seasons with Philadelphia, the place he was on the middle of the crew’s return to competition following a slide into irrelevance on the outset of the Wild Card period.
Rollins was the beginning shortstop on the Phillies’ 5 straight NL East champions from 2007-11, together with their ’08 World Sequence profitable squad — simply the second in franchise historical past — and ’09 pennant winner. A slick fielder who provided velocity and pop from each side of the plate atop the lineup, he garnered the nickname “J-Roll” from legendary Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas. J-Roll projected a confidence that bordered on cockiness, and carried himself with a swagger. “We’re the crew to beat,” he stated on the outset of the 2007 season, all however thumbing his nostril on the reigning NL East champion Mets, who had outdistanced the Phillies by 12 video games.
After dropping their first three video games and 10 of their first 13 to begin the 2007 season — together with two out of three at Shea Stadium, the place he was booed lustily by New York followers — the Phillies didn’t spend a day in first place till September 27, once they tied the Mets with three video games remaining. Whereas they took two out of three from the Nationals, the Mets dropped two of three from the Marlins. Not solely was Philadelphia again within the playoffs after a 14-year absence, setting off a run throughout which the crew grew to become simply the fifth to win 5 straight division titles, however Rollins took dwelling NL MVP (Most Precious Prognosticator) honors. A 12 months later, he added a World Sequence ring to a group that additionally grew to incorporate 4 Gold Gloves.
Although he made simply three All-Star groups, Rollins compiled spectacular counting stats over the course of his 17-year profession. His modest on-base percentages and defensive decline in his 30s restricted his worth, nonetheless, so he doesn’t actually stand out by way of WAR and JAWS. His Corridor of Fame candidacy does have a sure old-school enchantment, however it in all probability received’t be sufficient to get him to Cooperstown anytime quickly — an assumption bolstered by his receiving 9.4% in his poll debut final 12 months.
2023 BBWAA Candidate: Jimmy Rollins
|Participant||Profession WAR||Peak WAR||JAWS|
|Avg. HOF SS||67.7||43.2||55.4|
|2,455||231||470||.264/.324/.418 (95 OPS+)|
Rollins was born in Oakland on November 27, 1978, and grew up in Alameda, as a part of an athletic household. Mom Gyvonie Rollins performed fast-pitch softball in industrial and church leagues; she was a center infielder with velocity and gentle arms. Father James Rollins Sr. was a wrestler and weight lifter. Brother Antwon Rollins, two years youthful, was a fourth-round decide by the Rangers in 1998 and performed 4 years of minor league ball, whereas sister Shay Rollins, 9 years youthful, was a beginning guard on the College of San Francisco basketball crew. As a baby, Rollins performed Little League in opposition to older, larger children and attended A’s video games on the Coliseum, watching Rickey Henderson, Carney Lansford, and the Bash Brothers, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.
Rollins was about the identical measurement as his friends till his teenage years, when he developed the compact physique of his mom somewhat than his 6-foot-1 father. “These lengthy legs saved on shrinking,” he joked in 2002. “I used to be brief and thin, however once I picked up a ball and a bat, there was nothing individuals may say [except] ‘He can play.’”
At Alameda’s Encinal Excessive College, the place he performed on a discipline named for Corridor of Famer Willie Stargell (an Encinal alumnus), Rollins set college information with a .484 profession batting common and 99 stolen bases. Phillies Bay Space scout Bob Poole was struck by his play, however cautious to not emphasize the shortstop’s measurement lest the group reject him sight unseen; he fudged Rollin’s peak as 5-foot-9. The gambit labored, because the crew’s crosschecker, Marti Wolever, noticed him for himself and got here away impressed. The crew selected Rollins within the second spherical of the 1996 draft, and signed him for a $340,000 bonus.
The 17-year-old Rollins scuffled at Rookie-level Martinsville in 1996 (.238/.351/.285) however stole 46 bases in 52 makes an attempt at A-level Piedmont the subsequent season, and after a strong exhibiting at Double-A Studying in ’99 (.273/.336/.404) obtained a quick style of Triple-A and cracked Baseball America‘s Prime 100 Prospects listing at no. 95. After hitting .274/.341/.457 with 12 homers and 24 steals at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he obtained a September call-up, and went 2-for-4 with a triple and a stroll in his debut in opposition to Chuck Smith and the Marlins on September 17, 2000; he hit .321/.345/.377 in his 14-game cup of espresso, and climbed to thirty first on BA’s listing.
The 2000 season marked the Phillies’ seventh straight beneath .500; they misplaced 97 video games of their ultimate 12 months underneath supervisor Terry Francona, and traded Curt Schilling to the Diamondbacks alongside the way in which. However with third baseman Scott Rolen (the 1997 NL Rookie of the Yr), first-baseman/outfielder Pat Burrell (the highest decide of the 1998 draft), and proper fielder Bobby Abreu, they had been laying the groundwork for a turnaround, and the 21-year-old Rollins grew to become an vital a part of that. He hit .274/.323/.419 (93 OPS+) as a rookie whereas main the NL in steals (46, in 54 makes an attempt) and triples (12), clubbing 14 homers, and serving to the Phillies to an 86-76 document underneath new supervisor Larry Bowa, with whom he rapidly bonded. The efficiency earned him a spot on the NL All-Star crew and a few down-ballot MVP point out. He positioned third within the NL Rookie of the Yr voting behind Albert Pujols (a unanimous decide) and Roy Oswalt (the one 1996 draftee to outproduce him when it comes to profession bWAR).
Progress got here erratically for Rollins, who made the All-Star crew once more in 2003 however tailed off drastically within the second half. After hitting .319/.374/.532 by means of Might 21, he managed only a .214/.278/.316 line the remainder of the way in which and completed with an 85 OPS+, although with strong protection, his 2.3 WAR was simply 0.1 behind his rookie marketing campaign.
After bettering to a 90 OPS+ and a pair of.8 WAR in 2003, Rollins broke out in ’04, hitting .289/.348/.455 with a league-high 12 triples in addition to 14 homers and 4.7 WAR. For the primary time, he topped a 100 OPS+ (102), and completed beneath 100 strikeouts (73), reducing his charge from 16.4% to 10.1%. Although the Phillies received 86 video games for the second straight season, and the third out of 4, that proved to be the final one for the high-intensity Bowa.
Former Cleveland supervisor Charlie Manuel, who had spent the earlier two seasons working as a particular assistant to basic supervisor Ed Wade, took over. Although he gave second baseman Chase Utley his first shot at full-time play (for which the reward was a 28-homer, 7.3 WAR season) and the crew improved to 88 wins, Manuel’s steerage couldn’t get the Phillies over the hump simply but; they missed the NL Wild Card by a single recreation. Rollins, regardless of only a 97 OPS+, stole 41 bases in 47 makes an attempt, hit 11 triples to go along with his 12 homers, made his third All-Star crew, and improved to 4.9 WAR.
In June 2005, Rollins signed a five-year, $40 million extension with an choice for a sixth-year. “We’ve by no means envisioned our ballclub going ahead with out Jimmy,” stated Wade. “He brings a number of vitality and is a catalyst for this crew.”
Rollins completed the 2005 season using a 36-game hitting streak. He prolonged it by two video games to begin the 2006 season, making it the eighth-longest in main league historical past. It’s nonetheless the longest of the millennium, although Utley’s personal 35-gamer in 2006 got here shut.
Longest Hitting Streaks
Rollins put collectively a equally sturdy 2006 (101 OPS+, 36-for-40 in steals, a brand new excessive of 25 homers, 4.6 WAR), accompanied by massive seasons from Utley and Burrell and a 58-homer, MVP-winning marketing campaign from first baseman Ryan Howard. Once more, nonetheless, the Phillies fell brief; even enjoying .600 ball after the All-Star break wasn’t sufficient to outrun their 9-18 document in June.
As portended by Rollins, the Phillies lastly made it again to the postseason in 2007, profitable the NL East by a single recreation. Rollins loved a profession 12 months, enjoying all 162 video games and hitting .296/.344/.531; his batting common, slugging share, OPS+ (119), dwelling runs (30), and triples (a league-high 20) would all stand as profession highs. So would his 6.1 WAR, which ranked sixth within the league.
Relating to that “crew to beat” proclamation, and Rollins’ public persona in addition to his play, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist David Murphy wrote in 2011:
In my 12 years within the enterprise, Rollins is without doubt one of the most fascinating athletes I’ve ever lined. Initially is his uncooked bodily capability. The best way he can backhand a groundball on the outfield grass, set his ft, and throw a dart to first base amazes me each time I see it. The best way he can chase down a chopper up the center and spin and throw with good accuracy is simply as mind-boggling as Peyton Manning becoming a soccer into a gap the scale of an aerobie 30 yards down the sphere.
…He understands the way in which the media works. When he says one thing, he is aware of precisely how it will likely be performed within the subsequent day’s paper, on that night time’s information. You may see it within the devilish grin that all the time occupies his face, like a wise-ass excessive schooler who is aware of he’s giving his trainer matches. It all the time appears to me that Rollins will get a kick out of how severe individuals take the issues he says… In an trade the place so many athletes take themselves approach too severely, Rollins appears to have a fairly good deal with on the real-world significance of what he does.
Within the Phillies’ first playoff berth since 1993, they bumped into the buzzsaw of the streaking Rockies. Rollins went hitless in two of three video games however hit a triple and a homer whereas driving in 4 runs in Sport 2; even so, the Phillies misplaced 10-5 and had been in the end swept. Rollins took dwelling some comfort prizes, profitable his first Gold Glove in addition to the NL MVP award, the latter regardless of being outproduced by Pujols (8.7 WAR) and Utley (7.8 WAR), amongst others.
Regardless of lacking almost three weeks early within the season on account of a left ankle sprain, and dipping to 11 homers, Rollins turned in one other sturdy marketing campaign in 2008 (104 OPS+, 47-for-50 in steals, 5.5 WAR) because of excellent protection (+18 runs) that resulted in his second Gold Glove.
The Phillies received the NL East once more, then beat the Brewers within the Division Sequence, with Rollins hitting .375/.412/.688, capped by a leadoff homer off Jeff Suppan within the Sport 4 clincher. Whereas his general numbers within the later rounds had been unremarkable, he had a couple of massive moments, including one other leadoff homer off the Dodgers’ Chad Billingsley in Sport 5 of the NLCS (additionally a clincher) and a 3-for-5, two-double effort in Sport 4 of the World Sequence in opposition to the Rays. The Phillies received in 5 video games, their first championship since 1980.
Regardless of his 21 homers and 31 steals, Rollins dipped to an 87 OPS+ (.250/.296/.423) in 2009; with a defensive decline from +18 to -2 runs, he produced simply 1.8 WAR. Nonetheless, the Phillies received the NL East, however Rollins continued to scuffle in October (.234/.306/.281), although he did mash a walk-off two-run double off the Dodgers’ Jonathan Broxton in Sport 4 of the NLCS. The Phillies misplaced to the Yankees in a six-game World Sequence, the start of the crew’s diminishing returns.
A recurrent proper calf pressure restricted Rollins to 88 video games in 2010, and he hit for simply an 85 wRC+, however nonetheless delivered 2.0 WAR. The Phillies received the NL East and made it so far as the NLCS, the place the shortstop’s 4 RBI supplied the majority of the offense in a 6-1 Sport 2 win, however Rollins hit simply .206/.289/.235 in October because the crew’s quest for 3 straight pennants was denied.
The Phillies picked up Rollins’ $8.5 million choice for 2011, and after two down seasons, his bat perked up once more. He hit 16 homers, stole 30 bases, and completed with a 101 OPS+ in 2011 as Philadelphia received a franchise-record 102 video games and claimed its fifth straight NL East title, becoming a member of the A’s (1971-75), Braves (1995-2005), Indians (1995-99), and Yankees (1998-2006) amongst groups which have accomplished so in the course of the division play period. Rollins hit a torrid .450/.476/.650 within the Division Sequence in opposition to the Cardinals, however the crew scored only one run over its ultimate 17 innings and was ousted.
Reaching free company simply forward of his thirty third birthday, Rollins sought a five-year contract, however in December he returned to the fold by way of a three-year, $33 million take care of a vesting choice. His efficiency throughout the deal was uneven; he hit 23 homers, stole 30 bases, and hit for a 101 OPS+ in 2012, profitable his fourth and ultimate Gold Glove regardless of -8 DRS, however sank to 6 homers, an 86 OPS+ and a career-worst 1.3 WAR in 2013. He had yet one more sturdy season in him, a 17-homer, 28-steal, 100-OPS+, 4.1 WAR marketing campaign in 2014. The Phillies had been trending downward, nonetheless, profitable simply 81 video games in 2012, and 73 apiece in every of the subsequent two seasons. Manuel was fired in mid-August 2013, changed by Corridor of Famer Ryne Sandberg.
By remaining largely wholesome over the course of his three-year deal, Rollins triggered an $11 million vesting choice for 2015. Even so, basic supervisor Ruben Amaro Jr., lastly confronting the fact that the core of the Phillies’ five-time division champions wasn’t going to provide miracles, traded Rollins to the Dodgers in December, with Zach Eflin — who had been traded by the Padres to the Dodgers within the finally-completed Matt Kemp blockbuster only a day earlier than — heading to Philadelphia as one of many two gamers in trade.
The transplant didn’t take. Rollins hit simply .224/.285/.358 and produced simply 0.4 WAR for the Dodgers, and in early September was changed by high prospect Corey Seager. Rollins began simply six of the NL West-winning crew’s ultimate 26 video games, and only one out of their 5 postseason video games. Unable to safe a significant league contract that winter, he settled for a minor league take care of the White Sox, however made it solely so far as early June earlier than the crew recalled Tim Anderson and despatched Rollins packing. He went dwelling, however signed a minor league take care of the Giants the next spring (“I couldn’t stand these colours rising up,” he admitted). He didn’t make the crew, however he waited till Might 4, 2019 to formally retire, doing so in a pregame ceremony at Residents Financial institution Park.
Rollins completed his profession with some spectacular counting stats, together with 2,227 video games performed at shortstop, the sixth-highest whole all-time; he spent simply one-third of an inning in a 2002 recreation at one other place (second base). Amongst gamers who spent nearly all of their careers at shortstop, his dwelling run whole ranks eighth, his stolen base whole tenth, his hit whole twelfth, although you possibly can bump the primary two of these rankings down by two should you rely Ernie Banks and Alex Rodriguez, categorised by JAWS as shortstops as a result of they accrued extra worth there regardless of enjoying lower than 50% of their video games on the spot (Rollins’ stolen base rating drops by one on account of interloper John Ward). On all of these leaderboards, he’s accompanied by Corridor of Famers… but additionally different venerable shortstops who should pay their very own approach for admission into the Corridor. For instance, he’s simply 5 video games forward of Bowa on the video games performed listing, and beneath such luminaries as Hanley Ramirez, Jose Valentin, and Vern Stephens on the house run listing.
Although Rollins made simply three All-Star groups, his milestones, assortment of Gold Gloves, MVP award, and function because the beginning shortstop on a championship crew, a pennant-winner, and 4 different division winners (together with the Dodgers) offers him a Corridor of Fame Monitor rating of 121. That locations him someplace between “an excellent risk” (100) and “a digital cinch” (130).
That’s a reputable case for the Corridor of Fame, and it’s not completely undercut by the superior statistics, provided that there are 4 enshrined shortstops with an OPS+ decrease than Rollins’ 95, specifically Phil Rizzuto (93), Ozzie Smith (87), Luis Aparicio and Rabbit Maranville (each 82). All 4, nonetheless, are credited with at the least 116 fielding runs in Baseball Reference’s system, the place Rollins had simply 43, good for under 91st on the place. Pushed by his 81.7% success charge stealing bases (eleventh amongst gamers with at the least 300 makes an attempt since 1920), he good points a few of that floor again with 67 baserunning runs, plus one other 10 for double play avoidance… however amongst shortstops, Aparicio and Smith are first and second in that mixture of measures, with 110 and 103 runs, respectively, and even Bowa ranks fourth with 78.
When it comes to WAR, Rollins’ profession mark of 47.6 ranks twenty sixth on the place, forward of simply 4 of the 23 non-Negro Leagues Corridor of Famers, together with Maranville (44.0) and Rizzuto (42.2), although the latter did miss three prime seasons on account of World Warfare II. Rollins’ seven-year peak rating of 32.7 is tied with Aparicio for forty second, and forward of solely Maranville among the many non-Negro Leagues enshrinees. His 40.1 JAWS ranks thirty second, forward of solely Travis Jackson, Rizzuto, and Maranville, to not point out present candidate Omar Vizquel, who’s forty third at 36.2.
That’s too low for a Corridor of Famer, at the least in my e book. I can definitely perceive why Rollins would garner some help from voters given the joy that he produced in addition to the issues he completed, however I can’t see supporting him with a spot on my poll. He did obtain 9.4% in his debut, placing him forward of Abreau (8.6% in 12 months three), Mark Buehrle (5.8% in 12 months two), and Torii Hunter (5.3% in 12 months two). Apparently sufficient, simply six of the 28 votes he obtained from ballots revealed in Ryan Thibodaux’s Poll Tracker additionally included Vizquel, whereas seven of the 28 got here from voters who dropped Vizquel after the allegations in regards to the latter’s home violence obtained large circulation. For individuals who have a burning want to incorporate a shortstop unconnected to PEDs, I suppose he’s the only option, and with much less site visitors on the poll this 12 months than final, I’d count on him to persist and maybe inch upwards, however I don’t see 75% in his future.