Scott Rolen is jogging onto the diamond again; just not for Major League Baseball.The eight-time National League Gold Glove Award winner, seven-time All-Star and Hall of Fame candidate returns to his native of Indiana -- serving as the director of player development for the Indiana University Hoosiers.Rolen played 17 seasons
Scott Rolen is jogging onto the diamond again; just not for Major League Baseball.
The eight-time National League Gold Glove Award winner, seven-time All-Star and Hall of Fame candidate returns to his native of Indiana -- serving as the director of player development for the Indiana University Hoosiers.
Rolen played 17 seasons for the Phillies, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Reds from 1996-2012. Viewed as the best defensive third baseman of his era -- becoming just the fourth third baseman to have at least 2,000 career hits, 500 doubles, 300 home runs and 1,200 RBIs -- Rolen finished his career patrolling the hot corner in Cincinnati from 2009-12.
"I've enjoyed watching the success and development of IU baseball over the last five years under Tracy Smith and Chris Lemonis," Rolen told Indiana University Athletics. "Hopefully I can be a positive contribution to future successes here in Bloomington. I'm excited to be a Hoosier."
The 43-year-old Rolen will work alongside Indiana baseball head coach Jeff Mercer, recruiting coordinator Dan Held, pitching coach Justin Parker and assistant coach Casey Dykes.
Rolen's primary role as the Hoosier's director of player development will be collaborating with the coaching staff to recruit players on campus, in accordance with NCAA rules. Having spent 17 years on the big stage, Rolen is the perfect mentor for young athletes seeking valuable advice, lifestyle choices and informed decisions when pursuing professional baseball careers.
"I couldn't be more excited to add Scott Rolen to our staff," Mercer told Indiana University Athletics. "The impact Scott will have on the student athletes in our baseball program will be unique among college programs. The value for the staff and players, gaining knowledge daily from someone with such a historic career and who truly values the growth of young people, is special."
The Phils drafted Rolen in the second round after his senior year at Indiana's Jasper High School in 1993, where he was named Mr. Baseball. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound athlete hustled from the outset, debuting for the Phils in '96 and earning the NL Rookie of the Year Award the following year. He batted .281/.364/.490 with 2,077 hits, 316 home runs and 1,287 RBIs in his career.
Rolen was a member of the 2006 World Series championship team with St. Louis and won the '04 NL Silver Slugger Award in one of the best seasons of his career -- hitting .314 with 34 home runs and 124 RBIs. He spent four seasons in the top 10 WAR position players, capping his career with a lifetime 70.2 WAR.
Rolen received 10.2 percent of the votes in his first year on the ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Eligible candidates need to receive at least 75 percent of the vote for election into Cooperstown. However, he did finish with the minimum 5 percent of votes required to return to the ballot in 2019 -- set to have nine more chances for the for the election. Rolen joins three-time Gold Glove Award winner and two-time All-Star Darin Erstad as Hall of Fame candidates to join college coaching staffs. Erstad serves as head coach of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.