Wake Up With Scott Rolen Hitting A Go-Ahead Home Run Off Roger Clemens In Game 7 Of The NLCS (2004)

It seems like every year, there’s a candidate on the Hall of Fame ballot that everyone gets riled up over their lack of support. In recent years, it’s been Edgar Martinez. And rightfully so. This year might finally be Edgar’s year, actually. But this year, the groans from some baseball fans are coming from the underwhelming support that Scott Rolen has been getting. Is he a slam dunk case? For sure not. But is he worth discussing? That’s what we’re gonna do right now.

Our guy Ryan Thibodaux tracks every Hall of Fame ballot that’s made public by the writers who submit them. Ballots could be submitted through December 31, and although the final results won’t be announced until January 24, Thibodaux has collected 152 ballots, which accounts for 36.8% of the ballots that are out there. It’s also worth noting that writers will still make their ballots public before January 24, and some writers obviously won’t make them public at all.

Rolen has only appeared on 10.3% of the ballots. There are a couple of factors in play here. First, the aforementioned “discussion” to be had over his Hall of Fame case. I think we can all recognize that he’s not a first ballot Hall of Famer. Being that it’s his first year on the ballot, surely writers will revisit his case in later years, given that he has nine more tries after this year.

The other factor is that there are a number of guys whose cases are better than his. The loaded ballot factor. That’s not to say that Rolen’s not a Hall of Famer, but rather that there are others who deserve to get in before him or deserve more support than him. With voters only allowed to check off a maximum of ten names on their ballots, Rolen’s vote total will suffer because of this.

All that being said, Rolen’s got a career WAR of 70.0 and the average WAR of a Hall of Fame third baseman is 67.5. I’d say the odds are against him getting voted in over the next nine tries, but it’ll be interesting to see how voters look at Rolen’s case when presented with a weaker ballot in the future. And whether or not Rolen gets in at all, I think we can all agree that he deserves better than 10.3% of the vote or somewhere in that region.