Fantasy

Rollins' disappointing year was predictable

Jimmy Rollins has not played like an MVP.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Jimmy Rollins won the 2007 NL MVP Award by doing everything the Philadelphia Phillies needed to help them win the Eastern Division crown. But in 2008, his year could only be called "disappointing" by those who drafted him.

However, those owners should not be surprised at the downturn in Rollins' numbers as it has been the norm of returning MVP winners in the season after grabbing the award to drop 11%, statistically.

Looking over the past three seasons in both the National and American League, the MVP winner has almost always fallen off his "winning year's" pace. The one exception would be Albert Pujols in 2006 when he increased his totals in HR (41-49), RBI (117-137), batting average (.330-.331) and slugging percentage (.609-.671).

Pro-rating the 2008 seasons for both Rollins and AL MVP Award winner Alex Rodriguez, in a comparison of 10 offensive categories for each player, I looked at 60 sets of numbers and in 48 of them (80%) the player fell short of or is in the process of falling short of his previous season.

So Rollins' drop is not unexpected, but the size of the drop is more than "normal." In runs scored (-31%), hits (-15.5%), triples (-50%), homers (-49%) and RBI (-18%), Rollins has fallen "off the map."

Of course there is still time to turn it around, but I wouldn't expect him to be able to make up the entire difference.

Try to remember this next April when this year's winners are high on your "wish" list. Don't overvalue them as they will likely return to normalcy.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.