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

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, September 21, 2012 07:00 AM | Comments: 53
Analysis, Opinion, Posts, Writer's Roundtable

Jimmy Rollins is one of the best shortstops in Phillies history, and will undoubtedly be on the Phillies Wall of Fame one day. But will he be in Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame as well? I say that he should get in eventually, though I don’t think he ever will. Our writers take a look:

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.

Donald McGettigan: I’d say no. Fair or unfair, that’s how I think the baseball writers will vote when the time comes for Jimmy Rollins. Don’t get me wrong, Rollins has put together a great career to this point (and is my favorite player), but I don’t think he has dominated the sport the way I feel a Hall of Fame player should. Hall of Fame players should be perennial All-Star and MVP candidates, they should win 10 Gold Gloves (not just 3), they should strike fear into opposing players, and should be the no-doubt-about-it best players in the game. I don’t think Rollins quite fits that billing.

I wrote in Spring Training that I think Jimmy Rollins is a sure thing Wall-of-Famer, and went a step further by saying I think the Phillies should eventually retire his #11. Barring injury, Rollins is within striking distance of becoming the Phillies all-time leader in categories like Hits and At-bats, and Top 3 all time in Games Played, Runs, Stolen Bases and Total Bases. His longevity and production with this organization should be recognized in a special way, but I don’t see how he can be viewed among the greatest to ever play Major League Baseball.

Pat Gallen: Rollins might get close, based on some of the numbers Eric put forth. But using the eye test, I just don’t see actual voters putting him in the hall. Even as he’s put together a fairly impressive resume for a shortstop that stands maybe 5’8″ (it’s hard to play the game when you’re small, right?), I agree with Don in that he hasn’t really dominated for more than just his MVP season.

If we’re looking at some of the other shortstops who have entered the hall before him, how many of them would you take over Jimmy? His numbers actually slide right in there with some of the best, especially in the power category. He’s also third among active shortstops in stolen bases. The Phillies should absolutely retie that #11, but if you’re holding a gun to my head, I’m saying he’s not quite a Hall of Famer – and I think the voters will vote that way, too.

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.

Avatar of Jonathan Nisula

About Jonathan Nisula

Jonathan Nisula has written 218 articles on Phillies Nation.

Just a regular guy writing his thoughts for Phillies Nation. Grew up in Yardley, PA and current student.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 phil

    One thing all of you writers missed was intangibles. Jimmy is the team leader on what might go down as a dynasty in baseball history. No other Phillie in this dynasty sans halladay who wasn’t part of this entire run and maybe Utley if he can stay healthy and put up great numbers is deserving and somebody from this era has to get in. There is a shot for Hamels too I suppose. Another thing is that he is a media darling a community guy and may very well end up playing his entire career with only the Phillies. The writers eat that up. Many saber people say a player with 60 war is deserving and Rollins should get that. I’m not saying he will get in but you’re all a little more pessimistic than you should be. I decided already that I’m saving my first trip to Cooperstown for his induction if he gets in. He is my favorite player of all time. What better reason to make my first trip than to be there to watch him get inducted. If he doesn’t go in then I’ll just go for the heck of it when I’m an older man.

     
  • Posts: 0 Dickie Thong

    If Phil Rizzuto is in the Hall, then I see no reason why Jimmy shouldn’t be.

     
  • Posts: 0 phil

    Another thing worth mentioning is that he currently is on pace to have the best fielding percentage at his position in the history of the game which many believe to be the hardest position. I know it is a stupid metric but writers will also look at that. He also missed out on many gold gloves because or Omar vizquel and writers will also look at that. If Omar vizquel gets in which he shouldn’t then Jimmy should considering Jimmy will end up with the better career since Omar was a bad hitter

     
  • Posts: 0 Bill

    If Jimmy had played his entire career in NYC instead of Philly, he’d be a sure shot.

     
    • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

      Bill – I started writing my commented before yours was posted… thank you very much for summarizing what I posted in one line.

       
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      This is a fantastic point. Or maybe even Chicago or Boston.

       
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    This is a Phillies blog, right?

    I cannot comprehend why a blog titled PHILLIES NATION would argue against Jimmy Rollins getting into the Hall of Fame. And that’s what separates THIS CITY and THIS TEAM from the Yankees. If Jimmy Rollins spent his career in NY and put up the same numbers there that he has put up here, the media up there would make sure that there would be no question about it – his spot in Cooperstown would be marked “reserved.” If Jimmy retired today, he would fall just short… but thankfully, he’s not going to retire today. He’s going to play at least three more seasons for the Phillies… he’s going to retire as the all-time hits leader in franchise. Just let that sink in… more hits as a Phillie than anyone else in franchise history… add to that the hardware (which does play a huge role in this thing), the intangibles and his defensive prowess… if he plays three more years, he belongs on every Philadelphia ballot and eventually, he rides that momentum into Cooperstown. Compare his first thirteen seasons to Larkin’s… Larkin was a better offensive player because he drew more walks and struck out less but Jimmy was a better defensive player and Jimmy’s numbers are better across the board. Comparing their first thirteen seasons, Jimmy had more runs, more hits, more 2B, more 3B, more HR, more RBI, more SB…

    I hope that your stance changes between now and when he retires… remember, you represent Phillies Nation (not MLB nation). It’s ok to be a homer every once in a while.

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      I think we’re also realists, Chuck P. It’s not that we don’t want to see him in. But he’s borderline deserved, and it’s not wise to think the National Media will vote him in.

       
      • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

        If you were arguing for Mickey Morandini, then I’d call you unrealistic… and you’d lose all credibility. I guess my point is that he is borderline and this is a Phillies blog so isn’t there some responsibility to root for (and vouch for) the Jimmy Rollins’ of the world here? 3 out of 4 of you guys said that you wouldn’t vote for him… that’s crazy. I am certainly not unbiased… I can’t be… I believe he will earn his way into Cooperstown when he retires. If he retired today, he would rank top 10 among all shortstops already in the Hall of Fame in slugging percentage, home runs and stolen bases. That is a unique skill set… and I think he’s a top 10 fielder at his position, as well (Eric’s WAR total above sort of vouches for that). He’s in the conversation… he’s going to be our All-Time hits leader and I think we should be willing to argue tooth and nail to get him in.

         
    • Posts: 0 Eric W

      Couldn’t agree more. Let’s be a little more optimistic on a “Phillies Nation” website.

      Maybe Jimmy doesn’t have the same offensive numbers as say a Barry Larkin. Maybe he doesn’t have the same amount of All-Star Appearences(lets not even talk about Larkins competitetion after Ozzie Smith retired). However lets point out the things he does have.

      I feel as Jimmy has the intagibles more than anyone at his position, he is the leader of a possible dynasty era, he is a clubhouse guy and not to even mention about what he does around the community.

      I accept the writers view about being top 300 all time player. I would say he is a top 5 shorstop in todays game and has been for the past 10 years. That should get you consideration along with more phillies “fans” pushing for him to get him.

      Maybe rethink your article and look at what Jimmy does give to the game along with rooting on eventually what will be the all-time phillies hit leader.

       
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    YES , why not?

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    As for Larkin’s all-star appearances… in 1989, he made an all-star game while only playing 97 games (and he won the Silver Slugger award… go figure). In 1993 he played in 100 games and made the all-star team. 1997… 73 games and an all-star team. 2000… 102 games and an all-star team. 2004… 111 games and an all-star team at the age of 40. All I’m saying is that quite a few of his all-star appearances were based upon his reputation.

    Rollins had over 190 hits in a season four times… Larkin, none.
    Rollins has score over 100 runs in a season six times (I’m going out on a limb in saying that he’ll score four more runs by the end of the season)… Larkin, twice.
    Rollins has a Black Ink score of 14… Larkin never led the league in anything.
    Rollins 30 SB, ten times… Larkin, five.

    Should I keep going?

     
    • Posts: 0 Michael ALBRECHT

      One thing that people overlook is the number of plate appearances that Rollins gets every season. 190 hits is great, but you better be hitting .300 not .280. Jimmy has led the national league at least 4 times in most outs made. So while he puts up some good numbers, he’s using close too 700 at bats to get them.

       
      • Posts: 0 Nick

        No doubt, Rollins is not as good a hitter as Larkin. And for any hall of fame discussion you need to consider both how good the peak was and how long the career. Rollins’ peak was good but not great, but if he combines that with 4-5 more years of piling up counting stats, he may get decent consideration.

        BTW, is this the Mike Albrecht from Collins Ave.?

         
      • Posts: 0 Michael ALBRECHT

        Yep that would be me

         
  • Posts: 0 phil

    Larkin is better than.Rollins by a large margin…let’s be real here

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    We don’t get to vote, anyway, so I don’t see much point in debating except to kill time.

    Maybe in the future, when Rollins retires, we’ll want to kill the sportswriters who actually vote, but that depends on the next several years.

    Right now, I’m just wondering where all the people are who hate Rollins for his (perhaps wrongly) perceived lack of hustle and lead-off skills.

     
    • Posts: 0 frank

      What happened to all the people a couple months ago that said he was a bad example for the young players coming up in this organization or the people that said his current contract was a mistake. Jimmy is really good when he wants to be like now. I submit to you that if he played like this all year we would be in the playoffs without a doubt. His hustleing when he wants to will and should keep him from the hall of fame.

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Frank, are you seriously saying he should have willed himself out the slump he was in in April-May? If only it were that easy.

         
      • Posts: 0 frank

        Look I think Jimmy is a very good player but I also think that it is possible that it was more than a slump. I think with all of the major injuries to this team it might have been a little overwhelming and he was not giving his all. Two months is a little long for a slump and look at the timing when he started playing better. It was when chase and Ryan came back. The truly great ones will carry a team in adversity.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        I can’t tell if you’re willfully mis-stating things or what. I’m assuming you’re just “mis-remembering”.

        Rollins, from May 9th until Utley returned: .291 avg, .342 OBP, .514 slugging, .856 OPS

         
      • Posts: 0 frank

        I obviously did not remember the stats correctly. But what I do remember is all the cruel and negative comments about Jimmy on this blog when things were not going well for the phillies. How can the talk go from bad contract and bad influence on young players to the hall of fame. He is the reason we won the world series in 2008 and and he has shown that he can be a difference maker. I just wonder if he had the same passion for the past few years as he had then??? Sorry if I offended anyone.

         
    • Posts: 2069 Brooks

      Avatar of Brooks

      Jimmy is playing well right now, who will fault him?
      It’s always what have you done for me lately, always has been and will be.

       
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Nobody is arguing against him getting into the Hall of Fame … we’re just saying we don’t think he will be voted in, and the reasons why.

    I’d love it if Rollins got in, that would be great .. I just don’t think it will happen.

    I think Corey summed it up perfectly basically calling Rollins “Very Good”, but not “Great”… not something for Phillies fans to get defensive about, it’s just reality

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Don, I think 3 of the 4 of you ARE arguing against him getting into the Hall of Fame (if I interpreted correctly):

      Eric: Should get in (“deserving”), but he Will Not get in
      Don: Should Not and Will Not
      Pat: Should Not and Will Not
      Corey: Should Not and Will Not

      I don’t know that he deserves to get in, and I also agree with Eric that he won’t get in as long as another worhy candidate (Trammel) is kept out.

      Having said that, a lot depends on how healthy and productive he is over the next 4-5 years.

       
      • Posts: 0 Don M

        yea i guess maybe I took that “arguing” too literally . . . meaning that I think the overwhelming thought was that “THE VOTERS” will say no. I put myself in the position of how I believe the voters will respond and why …. and I dont think they’ll see him as a dominant SS in this era .. for the past few years I don’t even think he was “clearly better in the eyes of Baseball Writers” than Jose Reyes, a guy in his own division

        again, I’d love to see Rollins get in the Hall of Fame, I just don’t see it happening .. not “arguing” that he shouldn’t be .. just don’t think he’s viewed as one of the best of the best

         
  • Posts: 0 phil

    Jimmy Rollins is great…he would be one of the best of all time though if he was able to draw more walks in his career. He should finish his career with an ops+ in the 95 range which is very good for a short stop. A lot of his opsi based on slg and his is great for a short stop. He plays excellent defense and has superb base running abilities. He has some nice hardware and plenty of intangibles. Yeah he’s a great player…not very good and has a lot of hall of fame potential.

     
  • Posts: 0 phil

    And another thing people haven’t pointed out is that he is a short stop. Short stops don’t typically strike fear in opposing pitchers. For every a-rod there are 25 1b who are as good offensively. For every Jeter or ripken there are 50 outfielders who are better offensively. I’m making those numbers up but I bet I’m not off base. Short stops are typically speedy contact guys and Jimmy Rollins is just that but with a lot of pop in his bat for that position.

     
  • Posts: 0 phil

    Jimmy was going through a lot the beginning of the season. His wife had complications with her pregnancy and regardless he still has the 3rd highest war for all short stops this year…he should have about a 5 war at the end of the year which means he had an incredible year.

     
  • Posts: 0 JMills

    If Rollins stays healthy and can be productive through age 39 ala Jeter he has a very good shot at getting in the HOF. His hit total and runs scored will be very impressive. Rollin’s has the body type to last long and his game isn’t totally dependant on speed. In checking Larkin’s career numbers he is very borderline worthy.

     
  • Posts: 4974 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    I doubt that half the members of the old boy association known as the BBWAA even know what WAR is. They put compilers in the Hall. Jeter will go first ballot even though he’s just a so-so fielder.
    Will Jimmy compile enough?
    3000 hits?
    400 HR’s?
    3-5 championships?

    Like it or not this is the way it’s been done for as long as they’ve been voting. Can we change their ways in 10 to however many years, when he falls off the ballot? Doubtful IMO.

    Look at Don Mattingly’s 5 best years, if he can’t get in, Jimmy never will.

     
  • Posts: 0 phil

    Larkin a so so hall of famer? He’s easily a top 5 short stop ever…and don Mattingly isn’t in because he is a 1b and just isn’t as dominant for other 1b. Jimmy is at this point at least a top 25 short stop ever and Mattingly isn’t for 1b.

     
  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    I will add that calling Rollins “one of the best shortstops in Phillies history” is a little like calling Mike Schmidt one of the best third basemen in Phillies history.

    Not quite — there’s more separation between Schmidt and Rolen/Allen/Jones, but that’s exaggerated because he played on the Phillies for many more years.

    I am not comparing Rollins to Schmidt, by the way. Schmidt is the best at his position in history, and as good as Rollins is he’s not in that conversation.

     
  • Posts: 0 Craig

    Here is the problem. The hall of fame is not the same. They are letting in anybody.

    Mays, Ruth, Mantle, Michael Jack, etc = JIMMY ROLLINS

    NO F’IN WAY.

    He does not hustle. Had one great year on the juice. Has a gap in the mouth and is a piece of shiit

     
    • Posts: 0 frank

      Thank you. I was trying to be nice.

       
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Mays, Ruth, Mantle, Schmidt.

      But the players Rollins will be compared against are Hall of Fame shortstops Phil Rizzuto, Joe Tinker, Travis Jackson, Lou Boudreau, Dave Bancroft, Arky Vaughan, Pee Wee Reese, Joe Sewell.

      Way. Maybe. Again, we won’t have a good feel for that for a good 4-5 more years.

       
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    When Nellie Fox got into the Hall – through the back door (i.e. veterans commitee) – I was not happy. I woud prefer Jimmy over Fox or Rizzuto. Rizzuto got in in large measure for his broadcasting I think. When you look at what it takes for middle infielder to get in these days Jimmy just doesn’t make it. Very good player – mostly.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Gary

    The fact is, if Jimmy plays 5 more years, and still posts average numbers, he’ll finish with better offensive numbers than any HOF shortstop ever. He should end up with 2500 hits, 300+ HRs, 1000+ RBIs, 1400+ Rs, 500+ 2Bs, 100+ 3Bs, and 500 SBs. Do you know how many HOF shortstops have put all those numbers up? None, nada, zip. Yount’s numbers don’t match plus he spent half a career in CF, he never played a game at SS after 1984. Larkin? Tremendous hitter, best shortstop of his day, maybe if he could stay healthy we wouldn’t have this conversation but he couldn’t. A-Rod isn’t in the HOF so I’m not counting him. Let’s not forget his defense!
    Throw in J-Roll’s 5 Post Season appearance, 1 Championship, his MVP and depending on who else is on the ballot, he could be a first ballot HOFer.

     
    • Posts: 0 Michael ALBRECHT

      If he plays 5 more years his average could end up under .260 lifetime. His on base percentage is already not that great and will continue to drop as he gets older and still won’t take enough walks.

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Unlikely, but what if he gets to 3000 hits?

         
      • Posts: 0 Michael ALBRECHT

        For jimmy to get 3000 hits it would take 6 good years. I can’t see that happening. His average is starting to drop and his strikeouts and pop ups are increasing. Jimmy was never much of an on base guy so when the decline starts it should be accelerated because he never met a pitch he didn’t like.

         
      • Posts: 0 Nick

        I would say one year doesn’t make a trend. His Ks have been dropping and his walks increasing the past few years. His pop ups have been steady at the league average, except for this year. I realize it’s not likely that he’ll get to 3,000, I was just wondering what you thought — if hypothetically he manages to stay healthy and productive enough to get there, what do you think of his HoF chances?

         
      • Posts: 0 Michael ALBRECHT

        He has 93 strikeouts this year. That’s 30 some more then last season. Add I in the 30 infield pop outs and it looks like his bat is getting a little slower. I know it could just be a one year thing but including this season he’s only hit over .260 once in the last four years. A .250 lead off hitter that doesn’t walk should be hitting 6th. I was also checking fielding stats and jimmy will end the lowest fielding percentage of his career this year. I think he’s still great on the backhand plays but it seems to me he doesn’t get to as many balls up the middle anymore. Btw. Nick I sent you a friend request on Facebook.

         
      • Posts: 0 Michael ALBRECHT

        If he gets 3000 hits and hits say .265 for his career then I would look at him as a numbers accumulater more then a hall of famer. Tommy John won 288 games because he played forever, same as Jamie Moyer with 270 wins. Everything is debatable of course. Remember if the the owners hadn’t got together to try to kill free agency in 1987 then Dave kingman might have hit 500 homers to go along with his .240 average. Would have made a great debate since everyone who hit 500 got in. Jim kaat said it best when asked about his own chances for election. He said the hof is for all time greats and I was an all time good. That’s Rollins for me. He’s only made three all star teams which I find odd. Forget the fan voting but not even as a backup player.

         
    • Posts: 0 Nick

      He’s having as good a season as any shortstop in baseball. I don’t do facebook but sent you a message.

       
      • Posts: 0 Michael ALBRECHT

        Hey nick, I didn’t see any message.

         
  • Posts: 0 bloodclotter

    It’s called the ‘Hall of Fame’ not the ‘Hall of Stats’

    Jimmy Rollins captured the attention of every fan and rattled the cages of the New York media on a regular basis

    They ought to create a whole new statistic category for Jimmy based on guts, willpower, and swagger

    I don’t see how a plaque with Jimmy Rollins in the hall would diminish in anyway the specialness of it’s elite membership, and hell, it would be a great reminder for us and future generations of Phillies fans to remember how our team, with it’s new ballpark, became the ‘team to beat’

    Go Phils!

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    Rollins is good not great. Great players don’t have the OBP that he carries unless they have monster RBIs. Good not great. Looking for HOF SS? Jeter.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Bob that is a no brainer. Jeter is a shoe in for the HOF.
    As for Jimmy, he certainly is a HOF candidate. If you question his AS appearances, check the competition, those who played SS at the same time. I dont think being voted onto the AS team is something that should determine HOF candidacy or not.
    Just answer this question, who would you rather have as a SS on your team? Jimmy Rollins or HOF ss Sweet Louie Aparicio? Louie complied a whopping .262 BA, less hrs, his fielding percentage was .972 compared to Jimmy’s .983, Jimmy won an MVP award, has scored over 100 runs (including this season – he has 96 now) it will be 6 seasons out of 13 compared to 0 times for Louie in 18 seasons. Jimmy has played for 1 team exclusively, Louie for the White Sox, Orioles and the Red Sox.
    So, what are we comparing? Jimmy clearly is a much better fit for the HOF than Louis Aparicio.
    There are more SS in the HOF that have less impressive stats than Jimmy, Louie was more recently elected – other than Cal, Ozzie, Yount, Larkins

     
    • Posts: 0 Michael ALBRECHT

      What I meant with the all star thing was I found it odd that he hasn’t been named to the team more often. I know the manager used to pick the reserves and now I think the players select them. Not that it means anything but most guys in the hall usually had a decent amount of all star appearances. About Luis aparicio, I think we have to look at the era he played in. In the 50s and 60s he was the man. I think he led the american league in stolen bases his first 9 seasons. I looked him up today and the guy got 10 gold gloves, led the league in assist 7 times. He even had MVP votes in 10 different seasons. 6 times he led the league in fielding percentage, and has a higher range factor then Rollins. Shortstops are expected to hit today, in aparicios day all he had to do was catch the ball.

       
      • Posts: 0 Michael ALBRECHT

        Rollins should score 100 runs for the 6th time this year. He will also lead the league in outs made for the 6th time this year.

         
    • Posts: 0 George

      Any leadoff hitter will get more at bats than others, so leading in outs is no surprise.

       
  • Posts: 0 Michael ALBRECHT

    Maybe, but Pete rose, Lou Brock, Paul monitor, Rickey Henderson, Ty Cobb, and richie ashburn to name a few never led the league in outs made.

     
 
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