Like Rolen, Nettles Should Be A Hall Of Famer
Scott Rolen was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame on his sixth year on the ballot. It took way to too long for one of the best third basemen ever, but he’s where he belongs.
For some bizarre reason, people were unwilling to accept it even though Rolen is a top nine third baseman by WAR. However, it is more than just WAR.
When you’ve done something only Mike Schmidt has done, you’re a Hall of Famer. That’s now officially true of Rolen.
Rolen’s induction is a testament that defense matters. More than that, great defense can make you a Hall of Famer. That’s why his WAR was so high.
That what got lost on people as they made laughable cases for players like Don Mattingly. There were also arguments made for Dale Murphy or Keith Hernandez (who actually should be in the Hall of Fame).
Here’s the thing, Rolen was a third baseman, and they’re not. First baseman and center fielders should be used for those players.
That said, Rolen’s induction should serve as a bellwether for another third baseman. Rolen’s induction should prompt the Veteran’s Committee to induct Graig Nettles.
Like Rolen, Nettles was a great defensive player who won two Gold Gloves. He would’ve won more if not for Brooks Robinson.
Nettles has the third and fifth best defensive seasons by a third baseman. He’s fifth all-time in defensive WAR, one spot ahead of Rolen.
In his career, Nettles had a 68.0 WAR, which is just 2.1 behind Rolen and 0.4 behind the average Hall of Fame third baseman. Nettles is also just behind Rolen in WAR7 and JAWS while he’s ahead of the average Hall of Fame third baseman.
Nettles also won two World Series titles and was the 1981 ALCS MVP. Overall, he was a great player worthy of enshrinement.
Despite that, he fell off the ballot in three years. That’s a reflection of the arcane standards of yore, but we know better now.
This is why there’s a Veteran’s Committee. It’s to induct players like Nettles who should’ve been inducted over a decade ago. Like Rolen, Nettles (and Hernandez) belong in the Hall of Fame.