Comparing Phillies third basemen Alec Bohm and Scott Rolen as rookies
The Philadelphia Phillies have not had a third baseman perform as good offensively as Scott Rolen since his 2002 departure, but rising star Alec Bohm is making a solid case of not only meeting the “Rolen standard” set during his early-career stint in red pinstripes in 1996-97, but actually outperforming it.
Through his first 27 games, 107 plate appearances, and 96 at-bats in red pinstripes, Bohm is slashing .323/.374/.458 with 12 runs scored, seven doubles, two home runs, 17 RBI, eight walks, and 21 strikeouts.
Compared to Rolen’s 1997 National League Rookie of the Year award-winning season — albeit him actually debuting in August 1996, before gaining his stellar reputation in his first full season a year later — Bohm’s stats are better than the seven-time All-Star’s so far, across most categories.
During Rolen’s first 27 games in the 1997 season, spanning exactly as many at-bat’s that Bohm has so far, the former second-round draft pick slashed .281/.373/.344 with 13 runs scored, three doubles, one home run, 10 RBI, 10 walks, and 19 strikeouts.
Rolen went on to finish the year slashing .284/.378/.495 with 32 doubles, 20 home runs, 82 RBI, 66 walks, and 119 strikeouts spanning 129 additional games. The strong finish earned Rolen Rookie of the Year honors.
In the field, Bohm is not much far off from Rolen’s rookie days at the hot corner, either. Through 26 games, the 2018 Phillies first-round draft pick has committed four errors; in 1996, Rolen had three errors through as many career games. Rolen’s fourth career fielding error came in Game No. 28, which for Bohm could come as early as through Game 1 of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Miami Marlins.
Bohm has just 18 more games left to play to continue to improve his case amid the shortened, 60-game 2020 season; and, already, he is receiving consideration from around Major League Baseball. If he keeps things up, he very well could become the Phillies’ first Rookie of the Year Award winner since Ryan Howard in 2006.