Jimmy Rollins Has Quietly Had A Good Season

A look at his meager .242 batting average, unexciting .324 on-base percentage, and a sub-.400 slugging percentage and it’s easy to conclude that Jimmy Rollins has had a mediocre season. Even by adjusted OPS, of which Rollins has an even 100, he’s simply average.

If we go a little deeper, though, and use a better stat — weighted on-base average — we see that Rollins’ .320 mark stacks up well against his competition at shortstop in the National League, even if we set the plate appearance minimum so low (375) as to include Troy Tulowitzki. Rollins ranked sixth in the league, just a smidge behind Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond and far ahead of number seven, Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants at .297.

Rollins had been slumping for much of August after cutting his wrist on a slide into second base in Washington on August 3. He went 0-for-7 in the Phillies’ 15-inning thriller against the Houston Astros in their next game and had posted a .522 OPS overall between August 5-22. In his last five games, Rollins has a 1.139 OPS with a pair of home runs and three stolen bases.

Rollins is the only NL shortstop with more than 18 stolen bases, and he’s needed only 33 attempts to accrue his 27 (an 82 percent success rate). Only Desmond and Jean Segura have provided more value on the bases overall. He is one of only five qualified shortstops with a double-digit walk rate. He ranks fifth in isolated power at .150. He’s third in Wins Above Replacement, per FanGraphs, at 3.1 behind the injured Tulowitzki (5.0) and Jhonny Peralta (4.7). According to Baseball Reference’s WAR, which puts Rollins at 3.3 thus far, this is the shortstop’s best season since 2008.

2014 is the last guaranteed year in Rollins’ three-year, $33 million contract. However,¬†towards the end of July, he accrued his 1,100th plate appearance since the start of 2013. As long as he doesn’t end the season on the disabled list — and a mutually agreed-upon doctor doesn’t deem him unfit to start Opening Day next season — Rollins will be under contract for 2015 at $11 million. Ignoring the need for the Phillies to play younger guys (Freddy Galvis) to know what they have going forward, the Phillies can do a lot worse than a 36-year-old Rollins next season. He still ranks among the top-five shortstops across baseball.

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