St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen was not elected to the Hall of Fame, but he could be inducted as soon as 2023.
Scott Rolen was not among the former players elected to the Hall of Fame on Tuesday, but as his percentage of votes increased from 52.9 to 63.2, he is trending toward eventually being elected to the Hall of Fame.
Each player needs 75 percent of votes to be elected into the Hall of Fame and with five years remaining on the ballot, Rolen should easily get in – perhaps as early as 2023. And Rolen, who was known as one of the best defensive infielders in baseball history with the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds, is more than deserving of a spot in the Hall.
Of the players on the ballot, Rolen received the fourth-most votes, behind only David Ortiz, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Of that group, only Ortiz was inducted … meaning that Bonds and Clemens are no longer eligible to be inducted. I’m going to keep this column strictly about Rolen, but it needs to be said: Bonds and Clemens not being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a joke, and a huge miss by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Rolen, meanwhile, put together a tremendous 17-year career. He hit .284, posted a .364 OBP and an .855 OPS. He hit 316 home runs, accumulated 1,287 RBI and was an All-Star seven times and a Gold Glove third baseman eight times. As KSDK noted, he posted the 10th highest WAR among third baseman in baseball history, with every one ahead of him (except for Adrian Beltre) all in the Hall of Fame.
While it’s a disappointment that Rolen did not make it this year, it comes as no surprise. After receiving just over 50 percent of the votes, a 25 percent jump was seen as relatively impossible. To me, he will eventually be a Hall of Famer, but there are some who believe he shouldn’t be inducted, pointing to the fact he averaged only 105 games from 2005-2012 as he battled numerous injuries.
But the numbers speak for themselves. Rolen deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and his day could be coming as soon as 2023.