Friday, May 24, 2013

Jimmy Rollins' Case For The Hall of Fame

        Is Jimmy Rollins a Hall of Famer? His stats, accolades, and other Hall of Fame shortstops’ achievements say yes. Through Rollins’ 13 year ongoing career, he has already accumulated enough for him to be a Hall of Fame inductee. Currently there are 23 shortstops in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.  The most recent inductee is Barry Larkin. Let’s compare Larkin to Rollins.
Larkin, in 19 seasons, batted .295 with 198 home runs and 960 RBI’s. He stole 379 bases and had 2,340 hits. Larkin won an MVP award, 3 Gold Gloves, 9 Silver Sluggers, 1 World Series, and appeared in 12 All-Star games. Rollins, like Larkin, has 2,000 hits, won a World Series, multiple Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger and of course an NL MVP. Rollins’ career batting average is 25 points below Larkin’s at .270, however Rollins has hit 196 homeruns and is still playing while Larkin only hit 198. Rollins should easily reach the 200 home run mark by the end the current season. Rollins also has better speed numbers stealing 407 bases while Larkin only stole 379. The two shortstops both have good fielding percentages, over .975. In a complete look at the two careers Larkin is a better player than Rollins but is not too far behind and is still better than some other Hall of Fame shortstops such as Ozzie Smith and Luis Aparicio.
        Ozzie Smith, The Wizard of Oz, is one of the best fielding shortstops, if not the best ever. He retired with 13 Gold Gloves, 15 All-Star Game appearances, 1 Silver Slugger, and a World Series Championship. However, Smith never won an MVP like Rollins. Rollins was much more productive offensively then Smith was. As stated before, Rollins career average is .270. Smith’s was .262. More importantly, Rollins hit more home runs in his MVP season, 30, than The Wizard hit in his career, 28.  Both were also great base base stealers. Rollins power numbers are much better than Smith’s which sets him apart in a way but Smith has many more awards than Rollins. If Ozzie Smith is in the Hall for what he did Rollins should be too.
        Luis Aparicio, like Smith, outdoes Rollins with All-Star Game appearances. Aparicio appeared in 13 All-Star Games. That is the only way Aparicio outdoes Rollins.  Rollins power numbers are better, has a higher batting average, and a higher fielding percentage. Rollins has not played as many seasons as Aparicio, but still has better numbers. If Luis Aparicio is in the Hall of Fame, Rollins deserves it too.
Rollins is the best National League shortstop of his generation. While he is no Honus Wagner or Cal Ripken he is still better than some Hall of Fame shortstops. Rollins numbers are enough to put him into Cooperstown and there is nothing holding him back.

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