What happened in 2014: Was advertised as being an all-glove, no-bat infielder, and proved to be exactly that.
In each of the last two spring trainings, Ned Colletti talked up how impressed he was with the glove of Miguel Rojas, who had joined the organization in the winter of 2012-13 after five seasons kicking around the low minors for the Reds. We mostly smiled and nodded, but otherwise ignored him, because a glove-only guy who couldn’t even crack a .300 OBP in the minors hardly seemed like anyone we’d ever need to concern ourselves with.
That’s mostly true, but if Rojas did anything this year, it was to prove two things:
- That it’s really a good thing that the Triple-A team is out of Albuquerque, because even Rojas was a decent hitter there, and
- Despite a 34 wRC+ (!!), which was far weaker than Zack Greinke and about the same as Clayton Kershaw, Rojas’ defense was still so highly thought-of that his WAR was 0.5, which isn’t good, but still wasn’t the “negative a billion” his offensive performance would have had you expect.
Rojas didn’t do much but play pretty solid defense and not hit at all, so I’m not going to go through the full ups and downs of his season, except to remember a few high points. Like, for example, hitting his first career homer off Max Scherzer, of all people:
During Kershaw’s no-hitter, Rojas offered perhaps his best moment of the year, glaring at the field after Hanley Ramirez‘ error cost Kershaw a perfect game:
Of course, when Rojas finally got into that game, he nearly committed the cardinal sin:
So while Rojas absolutely cannot hit, he’s a plus defender and apparently a good guy to have around in the clubhouse…
“He’s an unbelievable defender,” pitcher Zach Lee said of his Chattanooga teammate. “He’s got some of the best hands I’ve seen. He’s a great guy on and off the field. He speaks really good English. He took that role on to be a mediator — if you wanted to speak to a Spanish-speaker, he was the translator.”
…but man, that bat. He’s a nice enough depth guy, and good on him for reaching the majors. If he’s ever a starter, things have gone truly, seriously wrong.
2015 status: Under team control for the minimum, has options remaining, and poised to rack up serious OKC-to-LA-and-back frequent flyer miles.