Phillies Player of the '00s: Rollins

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I had been thinking for a couple weeks about the Phillies’ Player of the Decade.

Five candidates immediately came to mind: Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. It turned out those five players ranked first through fifth in games played in the ’00s. But it only took a few minutes to see that Rollins stood above the rest based on longevity and performance.

He made his big-league debut with the Phillies in Sept. 2000 and has been a fixture at shortstop since. He led the organization in the ’00s in games (1,406), at-bats (5,941), runs (945), hits (1,629), doubles (350), triples (95) and stolen bases (326). He ranked fourth in RBIs (621), behind Burrell (827), Abreu (647) and Howard (640). He ranked fifth in home runs, behind Burrell (251), Howard (222), Utley (161) and Abreu (158). He earned the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 2007. He helped the Phillies win the World Series in 2008 and back-to-back National League pennants in ’09. He won three Gold Glove Awards and one Silver Slugger Award, and he played in three All-Star Games.

Could I have made a case for Utley or Howard? Absolutely. Of the 19 players who had 1,000 or more at-bats for the Phillies in the ’00s, Rollins ranked 10th in average (.274), 15th in on-base percentage (.329) and 10th in slugging percentage (.439). But since Jim Thome‘s arrival before the 2003 season, the Phillies led the National League with 5,814 runs. This team has been loaded with offensive talent, so it’s not like Rollins’ rankings in those categories are against a bunch of stiffs. And he plays shortstop, so he’s not going to compete for slugging percentage titles with the likes of Howard, Thome, Burrell, Abreu and Jayson Werth. Rollins was one of the best offensive shortstops of the decade. He ranked first amongst shortstops in triples; third in runs and doubles; fourth in hits and home runs; and fifth in RBIs.

He also was one of the best defensive shortstops of the decade. You can’t undersell Rollins’ defense. It’s huge.

Rollins has been an impact player. He is one of the first young talents to help turnaround what had been a sorry franchise. Howard, Utley, Abreu and Burrell made their marks, but Rollins was a major contributor from beginning to end.

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We should be running the Phillies’ Pitcher of the Decade on Friday. I found that decision much more difficult.

Any guesses?

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16 Comments

PItcher of the decade? That’s easy, Paul Abbott! Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey Abbooooooooooooooot!!!

Brett Myers? cause he’s been a starter for the majority of the decade.

Without looking it up, I think Randy Wolf must have made the most starts, and Brett Myers the most overall appearances… but I think the guy who’s actually been the most valuable is Ryan Madson.

Really slim pickings on this one. Randy Wolf, Brett Myers and Ryan Madson are all good choices. I’d add Jose Mesa into the mix. His saves total had to top the Phillies in the past 10 years.

If you’re looking at the full decade, it has to be Brett Myers. However, Hamels should probably get some consideration, on the strength of his ’07 and ’08 seasons alone.

Adam Eaton.
Kidding. I don’t know how it could be anybody else but Brett Myers. He was here almost the whole time and pitched well in multiple roles. He was a bit of a roller coaster, but was generally an effective pitcher most of the time. Madson and Wolf get votes, but its got to be Myers.

Cole Hamels is the answer.

the pitcher ofd the decade is….Jamie Moyer!! Only since he joined the team have we made the playoffs! he’s been a crucial part of helping our young pitchers achieve the success they have had over the past seasons, being a guiding influence and mentor to them all. His easy going personality and off field charity work are examples we hope all our players learn from and emulate. Additionally, he’s led the team in wins over the past two seasons.

Has to be Myers. He’s been a multiple purpose pitcher through much of the decade. Hamels and Moyer’s tenure with the team to me hasn’t been long enough to consider them. Wolf & Madson are excellent runner-ups.

I take it there is no disagreement over Rollins as position player of the decade considering all comments jumped right into pitcher analysis. My vote for pitcher goes to Myers. It is interesting to note that Wolf’s top 4 years were from 2000 to 2003 and Myers top 4 years were from 2003 to 2006 with Wolf’s stats, other than W-L record, being slightly better. It would have been nice to have both of them at top form for more than one season. The most that can be said for either of them is that in their times both were the best of a bad lot. Myers coming out of the pen is the tie breaker for me.

Jimmy Rollins is to the Phillies what Derek Jeter is to the yankees, the Leader and the catalyst.

Without Rollins there would have not existed the mindset required to be a champion. He’s a young 31 yo. and the Phillies NEED to try to keep this guy around as a Phillie as long as possible. He’s a WINNER.

Well it wasn’t Freddie Garcia, so I’ll go with Myers.

if the first year is year 1 (2001), then the final year of the decade is year 10 (2010) – - which suggests the decade isn’t over.

The decade started at 2000 and ended at 2009. That was the ‘aughts’ (00) decade. 2010 starts the teens decade.

Gotta be Myers or Wolf, I’d think. Myers would get the nod for me for a few reasons: Number of innings; transition to closer in ’07; and one of the decade’s most memorable plate appearances, the epic walk against C.C. Sabbathia in the ’08 divisionals.

Watching sports is very entertaining! Some of us we sure can’t get enough of this Tiger Woods coverage. In reality, should we really care? It isn’t like many people actually know him well personally. Sure he had that recent spread in Vanity Fair – and the multitude of tabloid articles, about his varying infidelities, his indefinite break from golf, and getting dropped by his sponsors. Even he never plays for money again, he won’t ever need a cash advance again. Realistically, he’s having personal troubles and various members of the media are exploiting it, we’re paying for it and who benefits?

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