Prospect Highlights: Mel Rojas Jr. Showing Off Some Tools

Two video highlights of Mel Rojas Jr from Wednesday afternoon. The first is a triple the other way, showing a nice bat and the speed to make it in standing up. More on Rojas and his season at the plate after the videos.

The second highlight is his quick, accurate throw to the cut-off man to help cut down a runner at third base. It was his fifth outfield assist of the season.

Since moving to Indianapolis, Rojas is hitting .328/.397/.459 in 19 games and he has played all three outfield positions. The 2014 season looks like it is the breakout season we have been waiting for with Rojas since he was drafted in the 3rd round in the 2010 draft. Including his Altoona stats, he has a .309/.383/.449 slash line in 72 games. He doesn’t look like he will ever be a true five-tool player due to lack of power, but he could end up as a strong fourth outfielder for the Pirates, one that is a switch-hitter that can fill in at any of the three positions. He’s going to have to keep playing well for more than 19 games at AAA before we really know if he’s turned the corner, but for now, things are looking very positive.

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • Ben Swogger

    Nice throw by Martinez in that second video

  • piratemike

    After this article there will be the usual cries of “lets make a deal”.
    It seems like every time a prospect has a few good games the ” want to be GM’s ” come out in full force. So far they would have traded off every prospect except Glasnow.

  • R Edwards

    With all due respect, it seems silly that Stetson Allie is in your top 20 prospects list, ahead of Rojas. That is heard to justify, on any level.

    • John Dreker

      My personal top 20 from last week didn’t have either, although Rojas would be in it now due to the missing players(Taillon, Holmes, Polanco, Taylor). I had him #21(so he would be #17 on the list) and Allie #31. So I agree with you, but the list is made up from multiple sources, so the list doesn’t agree with either of us. Doesn’t make us right, just gives us a different opinion.

      • R Edwards

        Thanks John – so the top 20 list is a compiled list of averaging the rankings of multiple people or sources? I get it, that makes sense. It does make me wonder why anyone would still have Allie in a Pirates top 20 prospects list, if these lists are updated based on injuries this year and performances to date. Unless he has a turnabout this year, Allie will essentially be a non-prospect by the year’s end. Rojas always had the tools and athletic ability, now it seems like the light bulb has gone on and he has figured it out. Now, he’s about 6’2″ I think – could we move him to first base??

        • John Dreker

          I’ve never heard anything about him moving to first base. I’m wondering if moving all around the outfield in Indianapolis is getting him prepped to be a fourth outfielder that fills in all three spots. If he keeps hitting well, then he’s a switch-hitter, that can hit some doubles, add some speed and play strong defense. That would be a nice player behind the main three. The top 20 is from multiple people on this site, but you could say other sources too, because of all the scouts we talk to over time.

        • John Dreker

          They will have an interesting choice with Allie when the Rule V comes up. No one offers as much power as he does in the Pirates ML farm system and I think AA was an aggressive push. He has to cut down the strikeouts, put the ball in play more and his defense probably still needs work. I still think it’s impressive what he is doing now because exactly two years ago right now, he was getting ready to play his first game in the field as a pro in the GCL and now he’s in AA. That’s a jump you just don’t see in that short of time.

          • R Edwards

            I agree John – the strikeouts are the biggest issue – I think he’s at or around 30% now in strikeouts. Those are numbers you do not see in pro baseball too often, for someone playing full time. If he cuts that back to the low to mid 20% range, his average will take care of itself.

  • lonleylibertarian

    Would be interesting to see a list of the potential Rule 5 problems – I would guess Rojas is gone if he does not get added to the 40 – or am I wrong/missing something.

  • William Wallace

    Maybe they could package a couple of guys with SNYDER/TABATA/GRILLI for a stud SS or a starting stud pitcher. Be sort of like an inventory clearance sale where you buy 2 and get one free. I would hate to lose any of this talent with a Rule 5 or 40 man fiasco.