The St. Louis Cardinals’ All-Time 28-Man Roster

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Third Base – Scott Rolen

Reminder here folks, this is a 28 man roster we are creating. Not an all-time Cardinals’ list, we are building a super Cardinals’ team here. While Ken Boyer may be the most consistent Cardinals’ third basemen of all time, there is no way he is better than what Scott Rolen was in his prime.

This is another player that I am truly grateful that I got to watch play, Rolen was truly a special player offensively and defensively. I remember anything hit in his direction was all but guaranteed to be an out. Walt Jocketty pulled the wool over the Phillies’ eyes when he sent Bud Smith, Mike Timlin, and Placido Polanco for the All-Star third baseman.

In five and a half years with the Cardinals, Rolen was worth 25.8 WAR, with 18 attributed to his offense and 8.8 attributed to his defense.

Rolen’s numbers with the Cardinals are impressive, with his slash of .286/.370/.510 and 297 extra-base hits (173 doubles, 111 homers, 13 triples) making him one of the best third baseman in baseball history, especially when you consider he had 579 extra-base hits away from St. Louis in Philadelphia, Toronto, and Cincinnati.

Rolen’s best year came in 2004 where he slashed .314/.409/.598 with a 159 wRC+according to Fangraphs, and 70 extra-base hits (34 homers, 32 doubles, and two homers). That year he posted an astonishing 9.1 WAR, with 3.3 being attributed to his defense.

Ken Boyer is probably the Cardinals best all time third baseman and very well could have made this position, but defensively Boyer was not Scott Rolen. Boyer posted a 10.3 dWAR across 11 seasons with the Cardinals and a total of 0.3 dWAR across the rest of his career. While many in the statistical era never saw Boyer, the ability that Rolen had was displayed over his entire career. Rolen finished his career in Toronto and Cinicinnati not once finishing a season with a negative dWAR, giving him a total 20.6 dWAR for his career.

This is what makes Rolen the better player, not at all discounting what Boyer was able to do throughout his career.

Next: Left Field - Lou Brock