We are now just 17 weeks away from the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Game at First Energy Park. Each week, we are profiling a South Atlantic League All-Star (previously).
This week’s profile of a former South Atlantic League All-Star is of Jimmy Rollins.
Rollins was only 17 years old when the Philadelphia Phillies picked him in the 2nd round of the 1996 MLB Draft. He immediately went to Rookie ball and played in 49 games for the Martinsville Phillies of the Appalachian League. In his first campaign, the shortstop hit .238 with a homerun and 16 RBI.
In 1997, the California native broke spring training with the Piedmont Boll Weevils of the South Atlantic League. He played in 139 games with Piedmont and hit .270 with 36 extra-base hits and 59 RBI. He also collected 94 runs, was 46-for-52 (88%) in stolen base attempts, and was named a South Atlantic League All-Star.
“J-Roll” spent the next three seasons progressing through the Phillies system and found himself in Philadelphia as a September call-up in 2000. He hit .321 (17-for-53) in 14 games for Phillies that year and made his final case to be the starting shortstop for the big league club in 2001. In his rookie campaign, he was tabbed an MLB All-Star and finished the year with 12 triples, 46 stolen bases, and a .274 batting average.
His best year came in 2007 when he played in all 162 games, hit .296, with 139 runs scored, 38 doubles, 20 triples, 30 home runs 94 RBI and 41 stolen bases. With those mind-boggling stats he earned the league MVP award as well as his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. In 2008 he directed the Phillies to the 2008 World Series title. 2013 marks Rollins’ 14th year in the majors. The 34-year old enters the season with 1792 games played, 2024 hits, and a career .270 batting average.
Extra-Base…Can you name the Heisman Award winner that joined Jimmy Rollins on the 1997 Piedmont Boll Weevils roster? Answer below the fold.
Ricky Williams hit .206 in 149 at bats with the 1997 Boll Weevils.