Disclosure: I was one of the people who wasted a first round draft pick on Jimmy Rollins this year. Oops.
However, the real question now that we're in the season is what to expect from him going forward. There's been some talk about him being injured, and a lot about him slumping and just needing to work out his swing.
But, I'm surprised a third option hasn't been mentioned: he really isn't that good of a hitter (no doubting his base-stealing abilities though).
To do this, let's compare his 'disappointing' 2008 stats against his two monster years (2006 and 2007) and his previous five years (2001-2005)
Now, his numbers were depressed last year partly due to him missing 20 games or so with an injury. So, you can add about 2 HR, 10 RBI, and 15 Runs to his totals for last year to prorate for a full season of health.
If you look at Rollins's career path, it's painfully obvious that he had a two year spike in his production numbers and has since reverted back to his normal levels of production.
Bottom line is: do NOT trade for Jimmy Rollins if it means giving up a top 50 player for him. If you own him and someone offers you a player like Matt Kemp for him, you should seriously consider the offer. If someone offers you A-Rod or Evan Longoria, say yes without a second's hesitation.
I partially agree with you...he was never worthy of a first round draft pick, that's for sure. I got him in my league in the fourth round (people were scared off because of his statistical fall-out last season).
While he clearly peaked during the two season stretch you mentioned, I'm not convinced that he is going to fall as far as you seem to think he will. He was never really healthy all of last year and his production suffered (just like Utley's did in the second half) because he was playing through injuries. I'm not worried about his slow start (lots of hitters look terrible in April) and I think, if he's healthy, he can hit 20 HRs with a .280 BA.
As an addendum to my earlier post, I am NOT entirely sure that he is healthy right now. He has yet to steal a base, which worries me. I know he hasn't had a ton of opportunities because of his slump, but we are nearly a month into the season now...
I had someone offer him to me at a super discount and I ended up turning it down because his situation seems to be more complicated than simply waiting for him to bounce back. It has a lot of signs that point to nagging injury and all the headaches that come with that.