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Jimmy Rollins: An exclusive MLB Shortstop

A written column showing how unique Jimmy Rollins was as MLB shortstop

When baseball fans talk about what makes a ballplayer a Hall of Famer, there are common words that appear somehow during the dialogue. We’re talking about exclusivity, greatness and one of a kind player.

Sometimes playing certain positions give you advantages, but all depends on offensive quality and defensive dominance.  Beyond ranting on a Jimmy Rollins Hall of Fame case, I will talk about exclusivity and consistency based on his raw stats.

A shortstop hitting for decent power, playing solid defense and stealing in stellar ways is somewhat unusual.  Even when Rollins wasn’t the paragon shortstop of his generation, he showed us consistency and durability. Right now, tons of teams around the league would do anything for getting players with such qualities.

Many well-sounded Phillies fans would thrill at all J-Roll highlights like baseball gurus.  They’ll mesmerize you arguing he was a top SS on peak years, MVP winner and making Philadelphia a baseball world champion in 2009.

Surely, exclusivity it feels like a good way to assess Mr. Rollins HOF case. How about this?

Only one shortstop in MLB history posted these stats: 200 home runs, 500 doubles, 100 triples and 300 stolen bases.

Want more exclusivity facts? J-Roll is the only SS to register a season with 30 homers, 30 stolen bases and 10 triples.  Keep it calm guys, I double-checked Honus Wagner stats too.

So he was a special player?  If we consider raw numbers might sound unfair, don’t give him a special status.  In case you miss the point, neither Cal Ripken nor Derek Jeter came close to those exclusive numbers.

His best season came in 2007 as he ran away with an MVP after leading the NL in runs and triples, slashing .296/344/531 , hit 30 HR, drove in 94 RBI and get 41 stolen bases.

Now let’s look at this comparison among recent HOF SS inductees and our guy Rollins.

Barry Larkin: 2,180 G, 198 HR, 960 RBI, 1329 R, 379 SB & 3-time Gold Glove Winner

Alan Trammell: 2,293 G, 185 HR, 1003 RBI, 1231 R, 236 SB & 4-time Gold Glove Winner

Jimmy Rollins: 2,275 G 231 HR, 936 RBI, 1421 R, 470 SB & 4-time Gold Glove winner

At first glance, the former Phillie was a superior stealer, run scorer and got similar recognition for some good defense.  A long career also helped him to get those numbers, but durability and consistency should be rewarded too under well-sounded criteria.

Whether you support an elite or big Hall of Fame, you can’t resolve Jimmy Rollins case as one and done candidate. Sometimes thinking twice makes you find parallel worlds where stats guide you as glasses.

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