I wish I could say there was some science to it, but over the years I’ve tried different rules-based approaches and have always ended up with a similar ratio: About 200 hitters and 200 pitchers we profile don’t play in the majors that year, and about 200 hitters and 200 pitchers we don’t profile do play in the majors that year.
Many of the guys we don’t profile who are called up from the minors would be impossible to select, don’t play very much and I’m resigned to missing them. In recent years, however, I’ve been more aggressive about cutting guys. The rule used to be, if you played in the majors last year you were in, unless you had announced your retirement, but now I let the standard be, “can you write a profile about him that really assumes he’ll be active this year?”
It was on those grounds that I cut Scott Rolen from the 2013 list. Always with an affinity for injury, the last two years he has been hurt a lot and failed to produce when he did play. I could not imagine how you could write a profile that didn’t assume his retirement.
I still can’t imagine it, but the reports today that the Dodgers are interested are interesting because the Dodgers don’t have a third baseman. (Apologies to Mrs. Cruz.) If Rolen does end up in camp we’ll profile him here and at pattonandco.com. My bet is he’s going to do the right thing and go fishing, but I’m sure it galls him to contemplate ending it on such a low note. If he thinks he can do better he’s probably wrong, but I wouldn’t blame him for trying.