Miguel Rojas is not what I thought he was
Every week or so during the spring MLB.com updates their projected starting lineups for 2018. It is an interesting read and this nugget popped up on my radar.
Old friend Miguel Rojas is slated to be the opening day starting shortstop for the Miami Marlins. Are you as shocked as I am about this news? Are you as shocked as I am to find out that Miguel Rojas was really good in 2017?
Rojas got his start with the Dodgers in 2015 when he was pressed into service due to injuries. At the time Rojas showed an excellent glove playing shortstop, second base, third base, and even a game in the outfield. For all this great glove work he was horrible with the bat posting an OPS of .464. It seemed fairly certain that his career arc would be a major league utility infielder bouncing back between AAA and the majors from team to team. The Dodgers started him on that journey when they included him in the Dee Gordon trade. Rojas didn’t have that journey, instead, he has stayed with the Marlins major league team all three years and his bat improved enough that he is now a starting shortstop. In fact, his OPS of last year was a sterling .736. His glove is so good that even with only 306 plate appearances, he earned a 1.4 in fWAR. To put that in perspective Brandon Crawford had over 550 plate appearances and only earned a fWAR.
Rojas has no power but his great contact skills have allowed him to post a very decent wOBA and combined with his defense he has turned himself into a bonafide major league baseball player.
I felt he was headed for the Oscar Robles career arc so big time hat tip for proving me wrong.