Saturday, February 20, 2010

Phillies All-Time Line Up—Batting Seventh: Jimmy Rollins- Shortstop

MLB 2008 - NLCS Game5 - Phillies Beat Dodgers 5-1

Philadelphia Phillies All-Time Line Up (Part 7 of a 9 Part Series)

As strong testimony to the talent assembled on the current Phillies team, Jimmy Rollins breaks the Dream Team line-up along with fellow infielders Utley and Howard. And, like the other two, he is still in his prime at 31 years old with the promise of many more good days ahead.

This remarkable trio has served as the foundation for the current Phillies era's success, both on and off the field. Utley's work ethic and intensity, and Howard's humble leading man approach are complemented perfectly by "J-Roll's" warmth and infectious smile. Together they serve as role models for the rest of the team to emulate– a perfect blend of fun, focus, drive and selflessness.

Rollins is arguably the best defensive shortstop in the team's history, with opinion likely split down the middle with Larry Bowa, the only other shortstop even in the debate for the all-timer team. J-Roll makes less errors, has an overall better fielding fielding percentage, and possesses a slightly stronger arm; whereas, Bowa had greater range.

The two players are pretty much polar opposites. Bowa is a Type A++ who played like his hair was on fire and with a perpetual snarl, while the nickname J-Roll accurately embodies the player's smooth, calm, and pleasantly upbeat persona.

The comparisons quickly end when considering the offensive side of the ledger. Bowa was a workmanlike player who scratched out hits by punching the ball and using his excellent speed. He averaged 24 steals per season and hit .264 during his Phillies career, but was a true singles hitter with only 13 HR's total and a .320 slugging percentage.

Conversely, Rollins has averaged more than 16 HR's and a .439 slugging percentage over his 9 full seasons. Although he is sometimes criticized for not drawing enough walks, he has been the team "igniter" averaging 104 runs scored and 36 stolen bases per campaign while hitting .274.

In 2007, Rollins was recognized with the NL MVP Award after putting together a truly spectacular campaign that was one of the best ever by a shortstop. That season, he collected 139 runs, 212 hits, 38 doubles, 20 triples, 30 home runs, 94 RBI and 41 stolen bases while hitting .296. And, as a true all around player, he committed just 11 errors while turning 110 double plays in playing all 162 regular season games.

In terms of hardware, Jimmy has been awarded the Gold Glove each of the last three seasons, the 2007 NL Silver Slugger Award, and the 2007 NL MVP. He has also been a three-time All-Star.


Phillies 945 146 621 .274 326 .329 .439

Career 945 146 621 .274 326 .329 .439

Honorable Mention

Larry Bowa- See above.

Philadelphia Phillies All-Time Line Up

Batting First: Richie Ashburn- Center Field

Batting Second: Chase Utley- Second Base

Batting Third: Mike Schmidt- Third Base

Batting Fourth: Ryan Howard- First Base

Batting Fifth: Chuck Klein- Right Field

Batting Sixth: Del Ennis- Left Field

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