The Career Comparison
Comparing these two Cardinal icons is easy since their careers reflect each other in many ways. Both played 17 years in the majors, so comparisons are understandable.
When it comes to career accomplishments, such as Gold Gloves, Silver Slugger Awards, and All-Star appearances, Edmonds' career similarly compares to Rolens. The left-hander won 8 Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger Award, and made 4 All-Star appearances.
Edmond's career slash line also aligns with Rolen's. However, Edmonds' career SLG (.527 vs .490), OPS (.903 vs .855), and OPS+ (132 vs .122) bests Rolen's. Additionally, Edmonds has more career HR((393 vs 316), but Rolen has more career RBI(1287 vs 1199) and hits(2077 vs 1949).
If we look at postseason productivity, Edmonds stands out compared to Rolen. In 64 postseason appearances, Edmonds had a .274 BA with 13 HR, 42 RBI, and a .874 OPS. Rolen, in 39 appearances, had a .220 BA with 5 HR, 12 RBI, and a .678 RBI.
When it comes to Advanced Metrics which are now so important in baseball, both players line up closely. Nonetheless, there are a few metrics in which Rolen's stands out more than Edmonds, which might make a difference to the HOF voters.
Looking at career WAR, Rolen is clearly better with a 70.1 vs Edmonds' 60.4. WAR isn't the only consideration for entering the HOF, but it's a factor and seems to work against Edmonds.
Since 2000, the HOF has admitted 39 players, not including relief pitchers and veteran committee selections. Rolen falls between 19 players with better WAR and 19 who have less. In fact, he is between Gary Carter and Tim Raines.
Offensive WAR stats between Rolen and Edmonds is downright close( 52.8 vs 57.2), but in Defensive WAR, Rolen is clearly better(21.2 vs 6.4).