Scott Rolen is doing much better on the Hall of Fame ballot this year.
After the induction of Tim Raines into the Baseball Hall of Fame, former St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Scott Rolen has become the new sabermetric darling, as those numbers show that Rolen’s career was worthy of induction into the HOF despite the thoughts of some curmudgeonly old writers. This movement is picking up steam this year, as Rolen’s Hall of Fame case is looking stronger than it ever has.
According to the early returns on ballots that have been made public, Rolen, a seven-time All-Star, has already gained four votes. That number is sure to increase in the coming months.
Advanced stats and analytics love Scott Rolen, but traditional stats don’t
While his .281 average and 316 home runs are certainly well above-average, old-school writers will point to the fact that he only finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting once and never led the league in any major offensive statistic. However, Rolen, who won eight Gold Gloves in his career, has a 70.1 WAR total that dwarfs dozens of Hall of Fame infielders, and his 122 OPS+ shows that he was a much better hitter than the box scores would indicate.
Rolen, currently in his fourth year on the ballot, received just 35 percent of the vote last season, In order to make it into the Hall, he needs 75 percent of the vote. While not impossible, he does have plenty of ground to make up if he wants to make it to Cooperstown.
This may not be a strong ballot, and Rolen will likely need to get in by the skin of his teeth, but things are trending upward for one of the most unique and compelling cases on this ballot.