After batting .250 with 23 HRs and 68 RBIs in 2012, Jimmy Rollins experienced a career worst 2013 batting .252 with only six HRs and 39 RBIs. The former National League MVP struggled mightily with the bat, especially when it came to extra base hits, racking up just 44 with 36 doubles, 6 HRs, and tying a career low with only 2 triples. Rollins also experienced career lows in slugging percentage (.348) and OPS (.667).
As a base stealer, Rollins stole a career low 22 bases in a season where he played more than 100 games. His low OBP of .318 did not help his cause.
On opening day, Rollins was the Phillies’ two-hole hitter with Charlie Manuel electing to go with the younger Ben Revere in the leadoff spot. That did not last long, however, as injuries to Revere and Chase Utley forced Rollins to move around the Phillies lineup. Rollins started 63 games batting leadoff, 51 games batting second, and 37 games batting third.
Out of the three, Rollins struggled the most batting leadoff with a .243 BA and a .290 OBP. He found the most success batting third, posting a .259 BA with a .351 OBP. While Rollins struggled offensively, he was one of the Phillies’ most clutch hitters, batting .291 and driving in 32 runs with RISP. Rollins finished the 2013 season on a strong offensive note, posting a .292 BA with 9 doubles and a season high .370 OBP in September.
Defensively, Rollins was once again solid. His .982 fielding percentage ranked 5th out of 20 qualifying shortstops while his 11 errors ranked 6th. Despite his age, the 35 year old still showed a strong arm and good range posting a 4.19 RF (Range Factor) which ranked 9th in MLB.
Staying on the field was not an issue for Rollins as he played in 160 of the Phillies’ 162 games and was the only everyday starter to play more than 140 games. Even at age 35, Rollins proved that he is capable of staying on the field, which cannot be taken for granted considering the Phillies’ recent history with injuries.
Jimmy Rollins’ season was one of inconsistency with both his bat and his spot in the lineup. Due to injuries and younger players getting opportunities, Rollins was unable to find a home in the Phillies lineup, and was never able to succeed in any one spot. His power numbers fell substantially, only hitting 6 HRs after hitting 23 in 2012 J-Roll is not getting any younger, and 2013 could be the beginning of his decline as an effective Major League hitter. Despite this, he is still one of the best defensive shortstops in the league and his ability to stay on the field has to be encouraging for Ryne Sandberg.