#25 Scott Rolen 3B
Here we have one of the best third basemen to ever play the game and yes he was better defensively than another third baseman that will appear on the list later. Rolen was widely regarded as potentially the second best to ever play the position behind Mike Schmidt.
Rolen for his Cardinals’ career had a fWAR of 27.1 in only 661 games, playing from 2002-2007 with the Cardinals, and having some really good years with the club, being named an all-star in four out of his six seasons with the club, and a gold glove winner in three of those seasons.
For his career Rolen slashed .286/.370/.510, with a wRC+ of 128, while also being worth 81.7 runs above average on defense in his Cardinals’ career.
What’s impressive about this is that Rolen only played in 55 games with the Cardinals in 2002 after being traded from Philadelphia and 56 games in 2005 due to an injury. Had he played full seasons that year, his defensive and offensive value could have been even greater, in turn also making his fWAR greater.
Rolen was an absolute monster for the Cardinals in 2004, he slashed .314/.409/.598, with a wRC+ of 159. That year he had 34 homers and 32 doubles, while totaling 124 RBI. These numbers were only good enough to have him finish fourth in MVP voting that year, but his fWAR was at an all time high at 9.0.
Had Rolen played longer with the Cardinals, we could be talking about him higher on this list. But, still he’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game, and I will always remember watching him man the hot corner.
Next: The one that got away