Mike Schmidt and Jimmy Rollins.
No. 1 and No. 2 on the Phillies All-Time hit list. In that order, at least for the time being.
Rollins will pass Schmidt as the franchise hit leader in the next few weeks and ESPN's Jerry Crasnick caught up with Michael Jack to talk about J-Roll and his chances at being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
"My assessment would be that if Barry Larkin is in the Hall of Fame, you've got to think about Jimmy Rollins," said Schmidt, a part-time member of the Phillies' broadcast team. "The importance for him is to finish out strong the next 3-4 years and continue to be a force.
"I can't see Jimmy Rollins as a bench player or a DH. I can't see him sort of tailing off or hanging around. I see him being an offensive force and a great defensive player for the rest of his career. If you add that to where he is now, he's going to get some consideration for the Hall of Fame."
A pretty fair assessment I'd say. And the bit Schmidt says about J-Roll's penchant for swinging for power is something Phils fans have been saying forever:
"I don't want to disrespect him when I say this, but Jimmy may swing for the home run a little too often, and I think that's dragged his batting average down," Schmidt said. "I believe Jimmy could have been a Tony Gwynn-kind of a hitter.
"Jimmy can hit one 400 feet -- he really can. Knowing that, over time, he'll probably look back when he gets done with his career and say, 'I wish I had never hit a home run.'
Weeeeell. I don't know if I'd go that far. But hearing Schmidt say he thinks J-Roll would hit .300 if he didn't swing for the fences is an interesting point. One I probably don't agree with exactly, but certainly interesting.
Rollins is a career .268 hitter. You'd have to slap a whole lot of singles over 15 or so years to raise a batting average 30+ points. Maybe I'd give him 10-15 points more.
Crasnick crunches the numbers a bit and showed that Jimmy doesn't quite have Larkin's production. Still, if he puts in 3-4 more quality seasons. He'll be in the convo.
>>Schmidt: Rollins having HOF career [ESPN]