He played for the Phillies from 2000 to 2014, and finished his career with stints in the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox.
He was a bonafide star back in the day: he won the 2007 NL MVP award, four Gold Gloves (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012), a Silver Slugger award (2007), and a World Series title in 2008.
He also led the National League in stolen bases in 2001.
That 2007 season he had was something else: he slashed .296/.344/.531 with 30 homers, 41 stolen bases, and 139 (!) runs scored.
Having said all of this, does he belong in the Hall of Fame?
He was very good, and is an icon in Philadelphia, but no, he doesn’t belong in Cooperstown.
He Doesn’t Have A Very Strong Case
So far, it looks like voters are also against Rollins in the Hall, as he has appeared on only 11.3 percent of the ballots at the 42.9 percent progression mark in the voting process.
At 168 ballots/~42.9% known:
Ortiz – 83.9%
Bonds – 78.0%
Clemens – 76.8%
Rolen – 69.0%
Schilling – 60.1%
Helton – 56.5%
Jones – 48.8%
Wagner – 48.2%
Sheffield – 47.0%
A-Rod – 41.1%
Ramírez – 38.1%
Sosa – 25.0%
Abreu/Pettitte/Rollins – 11.3%
— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) January 15, 2022
Unless a drastic change occurs in the remaining 57.1 percent of the ballots, he won’t enter the Hall of Fame in 2022.
Let’s analyze his case.
To enter the Hall, a player should have great grades in these three categories: full body of work, accolades, and peak.
Rollins has the accolades: the Hall even has some players who didn’t win an MVP award, and Rollins did.
That means something, as do the Gold Gloves, All-Star berths, the World Series title, and the Silver Slugger.
But his full body of work isn’t ideal.
Right now, there are stats available that say Rollins was basically an average hitter.
For example, he had a career 95 wRC+, which means weighted Runs Created Plus.
It considers the player’s offensive contributions as a whole (walks, total bases, etc.) and adjust them to era, context, ballpark, and other external factors.
For wRC+, an “average” value is 100.
A Good Fielder, But A Below-Average Hitter
His 95 mark means he was actually slightly below-average as a hitter during his career.
Literally a below average hitter for his career. Love Rollins, but he’s just not a hall of famer. Pretty simple. https://t.co/3IIl2t9wNg
— Spencer Pierce #FireRobManfred (@srpierce14) January 15, 2022
He has some great totals: 2,455 hits, 231 homers, 1,421 runs, 936 RBI, and 470 stolen bases.
But he wasn’t good in the second half of his career, as his hitting and on-base ability declined after 2009; and he was also bad during the first three full seasons of his career, from 2001 to 2003.
Rollins achieved respectable totals because he played a lot, but as a hitter, besides the stolen bases and his surprising pop, he wasn’t really special or Hall of Fame worthy.
His career batting line of .264/.324/.418 is actually a little underwhelming, as is his .743 OPS.
As a fielder, he was very, very good for the first half of his career, achieving two seasons with 18 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) in 2005 and 2008.
He started to decline after 2009 with the leather, too.
This is not to say he was a bad player: to the contrary, he was dynamic and exciting.
But the Hall of Fame should be reserved for excellent players, not very good ones.
If we are going to respect Hall standards, Rollins doesn’t belong in Cooperstown.