In his first weekend within the Majors, outfielder Johan Rojas wowed the crowds.
By Chris Murray
For the Philadelphia Sunday SN
ABOVE PHOTO: Philadelphia Phillies’ Johan Rojas bunts for a run-scoring single towards San Diego Padres pitcher Adrian Morejon in the course of the sixth inning of the second baseball recreation in a doubleheader, Saturday, July 15, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Picture/Matt Slocum)
When outfielder Johan Rojas bought the decision that he was going to be promoted from Double-A Studying to affix the Philadelphia Phillies, the one folks extra enthusiastic about than he was had been his household.
“I used to be in Studying with a couple of associates having fun with a barbecue when Preston Mattingly, Al Predrique (Studying Phightin Phils supervisor), and Edwin Soto (Phillies supervisor of participant growth) known as to present me the information. I used to be so excited, I began leaping,” Rojas stated talking by means of workforce interpreter Diego Ettedgui. “My spouse cried, my brother, was super-excited. He was shaking. It was actually emotional. I known as my mother, she began to cry. “
And the Phillies are pleased as nicely. Rojas, who was the sixth-highest rated prospect in minor leagues in accordance with MLB.com, bought the chance to play with the big-league membership as a result of reserve outfielder Cristian Pache was positioned on the 10-day injured checklist due to proper elbow irritation.
As he sat with reporters within the Phillies dugout, Rojas couldn’t conceal his enthusiasm about being with the large membership, one thing he had dreamed about as a child enjoying MLB The Present on PlayStation in San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic.
“It’s unimaginable, it’s one thing that I’ve at all times dreamed about and even once I performed on my PlayStation generally, I’d be like yeah, I will be a type of guys,” Rojas stated. “I’m lastly right here. Even once I bought to the ballpark at the moment, I stated ‘Wow.’ I needed to pinch myself. I’m truly right here. I made it.”
After all, Rojas has to indicate that he can keep right here for a major period of time. Which means he has to profit from each at-bat whether or not he’s a starter or a pinch-hitter.
“I’m going to present my one hundred pc. I hate shedding,” Rojas stated. “(Thomson) informed me that I used to be largely I’m going to play towards left-handed pitchers. I’m going to cowl Pache’s position now that he’s on the (injured checklist).”
Earlier than leaving to come back as much as the Phillies, Rojas was tearing up AA ball. He has a .306 batting common to go together with a .361 on-base share and a .484 slugging share. He has .845 ops (mixture of on base and slugging share). He at the moment leads the Japanese League in hits (98), triples, and runs scored. Rojas ranks second in stolen bases with 30 and has 9 house runs.
Throughout his weekend debut towards the San Diego Padres, Rojas confronted higher pitching than he did in Double-A stage.
He acknowledged the have to be affected person.
“I’m going be selective, swing at strikes, and simply be devoted to my recreation plan,” he stated.
In his first Main League recreation towards the Padres on Saturday, he went 0-for-3 on the plate however made an enormous splash for his prowess with the glove in middle subject.
Within the first inning, Padres proper fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a deep flyball to centerfield that Rojas caught whereas crashing towards the fence in entrance of the Phillies bullpen. He then had the presence of thoughts to throw the ball to first base to get Padres lead-off hitter Ha-Seong Kim out at first base and file his first main league outfield help.
“It was unimaginable,” stated Rojas. “It was the second batter of the sport and the joy from the followers was wonderful and it was a particular second.”
Phillies supervisor Rob Thomson stated Rojas, 22, will give the Phillies a right-handed bat as a pinch-hitter, pinch-runner, and probably in leftfield to present Kyle Schwarber a relaxation.
“He’s had an amazing yr, he’s bought energy and he’s the most effective centerfielders within the recreation,” stated Phillies supervisor Rob Thomson. “He’s on the roster. It’s the best transfer.”
Whether or not he comes as a pinch-hitter, a defensive substitute, a pinch-runner, or a spot starter, Rojas stated he’ll convey his aggressive spirit and his personal need to win.
“I got here to convey my power day in and day trip,” he stated. “I got here right here to win. I’m going to be out there for no matter they want me for. It’s nice to be right here and I’m prepared for any activity they need me to do.”
Within the second recreation of Saturday’s doubleheader, Rojas gave the followers a glimpse of his offensive potential by getting three hits within the Phillies’ 9-4 win. Not solely did he get his first main league hit, Rojas bought his first main league run batted in on a bunt single and he additionally had a RBI single within the backside of the seventh.
“I didn’t have a success within the first recreation, however the one factor you must learn about me is that I’m going to present my one hundred pc each single time,” Rojas stated by means of the Phillies workforce interpreter Diego Ettedgui. “The primary recreation I didn’t have a success, however the second recreation it occurred. It was nice.”
Rojas’s first weekend within the majors drew the reward of his new teammates together with the 2021 Nationwide League MVP.
“What a primary inning (Recreation 1) (Rojas) had proper there,” stated Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper. “His first day within the massive leagues he makes an unimaginable play. I used to be getting therapy and I used to be like, ‘Holy crap.’ What an amazing play. It’s actually enjoyable to look at him play. He’s had an amazing yr within the minor leagues. I’m excited to see him run, excited to see him play … We all know how dynamic of a participant he will be, so excited to see him get going.”