In my latest edition of Phillies’ prospect profiles, the prospect of focus this week will be Phillies centerfield, Johan Rojas.
The Phillies acquired Rojas as an international free agent signing in 2018. Johan signed for only $10,000 USD and has been considered a steal ever since. Rojas is the Phillies’ highest-rated outfielder and their number four ranked prospect in their system. Following a recent promotion to Double-A Reading, Phillies fans might be seeing this prospect sooner rather than later.
Off the Charts Talent
There may not be a more exciting prospect to watch play baseball than Johan Rojas. Rojas has quickly risen up the charts and his on-the-field ability creates magical moments. Johan can become the player many thought that Roman Quinn would develop into. He has elite speed and while he might not be as fast as Roman Quinn, he flies around the bases. His scouting ranks him gives him a 70 in the speed category and has 37 stolen bases this season. He has only been thrown out once thus far into the year.
Johan Rojas can play center field with the best of them. Rojas’s speed allows him to cover a lot of ground in the outfield and he would instantly become the Phillies’ current best outfielder.
A player to compare to Johan would be Nationals’ outfielder Victor Robles. Robles has been an elite defender in this game for a long time and his speed allows him to be a weapon. He could become a real gamechanger in the defensive department, which is much needed in Philadelphia.
Johan Rojas is 3 for 4 tonight for Reading with three singles to the opposite field and a patient walk which forced in a run. It’s only been a few games but he surely hasn’t looked out of place at AA and seems to be staying more within himself pic.twitter.com/CJay7gTXQx
— Mitch Rupert (@Mitch_Rupert) July 5, 2022
Finding His Stride
Johan Rojas was recently promoted to the Double-A Fightin Phillies. Since being called up from the Jersey Shore Blueclaws, Rojas has been on fire. Hitting .400, Johan has quickly driven in four runs and stolen four bags in five games.
While it’s just a short sample size, it seems like the competition hasn’t phased him in the slightest. Once again his speed has given him the edge, which allows him to make plays for his team to win.
Johan Rojas is fast. 31 for 31 on the bases now but watch this all the way through! pic.twitter.com/mrWhnt01qR
— Jersey Shore BlueClaws (@BlueClaws) June 17, 2022
Practice Makes Perfect
While there is a lot to get excited about with Johan Rojas, there are still areas of improvement for him to make. The easiest improvement for Johan to make is to hit for power. While most speed guys aren’t known for their homerun-hitting talent, it would be nice to see Rojas hit for more power. If he can become a 10-12 homerun a season player, his value will skyrocket.
Another area of improvement for Rojas would be to lower his strikeout rate and grow his walk percentage. Johan Rojas has 55 strikeouts to 25 walks on the season. As a speedster and leadoff hitter, it would behoove Johan to try and get on base by walking just a bit more. He strikes out about 19 percent of the time and walks about 9 percent of the time. Flipping the script on these numbers would help Rojas become a better overall hitter.
Phillies Future Looks Bright
By 2024, Johan Rojas will most likely make his Phillies debut. As the young outfielder fine tunes his craft, the Phillies continue to have an opening at the centerfield position.
Whether or not the Phillies deal Johan in a move this trade deadline, it will be fascinating to watch him continue to develop. Getting Johan in a Phillies uniform will be a lot of fun to watch and fans should get excited about what the pipeline has in store.
Make sure to stay tuned to PhillySportsNetwork and my Twitter @MattWatsonPSN for the next edition of Phillies Prospects Profile next week!
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire