Player Projection: Jimmy Rollins

The big question that will follow Jimmy Rollins into the 2006 season is his 36 game hitting streak. How far can it go? Will he get anywhere near Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak? Beyond that though, the Phillies will need Rollins to get on base and make things happen for the big bats behind him.

Jimmy Rollins is truly learning how to play the game of baseball. He was never the kind of guy that you figured would put together a huge hitting streak, because he hadn't truly learned how to get on base and seemed more interested in looking for a long ball than a simple base hit. Now though, Rollins has seen the light and it's a bright spotlight that will shine on him throughout the season.

Rollins has learned how to use his skills and simply put the ball in play. With his speed, a lot can happen and often does. He still has the occasional power to take a ball deep and there's certainly nothing wrong with that, but he's realized that there are more important parts to his game. He has become a much better hitter and all around player than he was a couple short seasons ago and it's likely that the spotlight from his streak will only provide more influence on how he can best keep himself in the spotlight down the road.

Home runs: Yes, Rollins has some power, but his urge to use that power is shrinking. The funny thing about that is that he may actually wind up hitting at least as many home runs as he has in the past, since most hitters will tell you that when you try to hit the long ball, you generally don't. Rollins is usually around 12 or 14 home runs and he should be right in that neighborhood again in 2006.

RBI: As a leadoff hitter, Rollins isn't looked at for RBI numbers. He has a career-high of 73 back in 2004, but isn't likely to set any new highs this season. Again though, by simply putting the ball in play, Rollins will likely drive in a decent amount of runs.

AVG / OBP: Rollins hit a career-high .290 last season and there were a lot of people around the organization that said 'it's about time'. There was never any doubt that Rollins could hit at that level and potentially, beyond. He had a .338 on-base percentage, which wasn't a career-high, but not far off from his mark of .348 in 2004.

Projections for 2006

12 65 .291 157 670 120 195 40 12 45 51 70 .344

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