MLB Hall of Fame: Breaking down the 2019 ballot

COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 29: Seats are seen at Clark Sports Center during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 29, 2018 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 29: Seats are seen at Clark Sports Center during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 29, 2018 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by John Grieshop/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Grieshop/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Scott Rolen – 2nd year on ballot (10.2% in 2018)

Last year, Scott Rolen was overshadowed by the presence of players like Chipper Jones and Jim Thome amongst first year candidates. This year, he should receive more support for his induction into the MLB Hall of Fame.

Rolen was an excellent all around player for the Cardinals and Phillies. A power hitting third baseman with speed, he was also an excellent defensive presence at the hot corner. An eight time Gold Glove winner, his 140 runs saved at third rank sixth all time, showing how valuable he was in the field.

Yet, Rolen was far more than an excellent defensive player. He was a seven time All Star and the 1996 NL Rookie of the Year, finishing as high as fourth in the 2006 NL MVP vote. Over the course of his career, he produced a .281/.364/.490 batting line, hitting 316 homers and 517 doubles. Rolen was a decent base stealer early in his career, swiping 118 bases in total. Add in his exceptional defense, and Rolen was one of the best third basemen that the game has seen.

Perhaps this year, Rolen will begin to climb up the voting ladder. His 10.2% of the vote from last year was laughingly low, especially given his resume. This year, he does not have to worry about as strong of a first year class, with Mariano Rivera likely to be the only inductee of the first year players. This gives Rolen a great opportunity to pick up some momentum for future years.

Scott Rolen may not be inducted this year, but he is a deserving candidate. Hopefully, his induction will be coming soon.