27. Miguel Rojas (7.9)
Miguel Rojas recently signed a two-year, $10.25 million deal to stay on with the Miami Marlins. If you’re a long-time reader, you’ll know that I’ve often said that Rojas is the “heart and soul” of the Marlins. The Marlins were wise to recognize that and lock Rojas up for these next two seasons.
Signed as a free agent by the Cincinnati Reds in 2005, Rojas joined the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012. The Dodgers traded him, along with Dan Haren, Dee Gordon, and a PTBNL to the Marlins for Andrew Heaney, Enrique Hernandez, Chris Hatcher, and Austin Barnes.
In 2015, Rojas hit .282/.329/.366 over 60 games, but he was never considered an offensive juggernaut. He played 32 games at shortstop and nine each at second and third base, grading out as average at each of the three spots.
2016 would see the Marlins employ Rojas 45 times at second, 41 at first, 33 at short, and another 16 at third base. In 123 games, he hit .247/.288/.325 with just 14 RBI. Rojas’ defensive versatility was on full display once more, as he rated 2 DRS at third, -2 DRS at short, 1 DRS at second, and dead-even at first. To find a player that is a major-league average fielder at four positions is rare.
In 2017, Rojas topped the 2 WAR metric for the first time, finishing the season at 2.2. In 90 games, Rojas hit .290/.361/.375 with 26 RBI. Again, his true value was on the defensive side of the diamond, but mainly as a shortstop, in 77 of his appearances.
In 2018, Rojas posted a .994 fPCT at shortstop over 657 1/3 innings, and was 4 DRS above average. After having hit only one homer in each of his first four major league seasons, Rojas clubbed 11 in 2018, while slashing .252/.297/.346. He also collected a career-high 53 RBI and closed the season with a team-fourth 2.4 WAR,
In 132 games in 2019, Rojas hit .283/.331/.379 with five home runs and 46 RBI, along with a team-third 2.4 WAR. All signs point to two good seasons for Rojas with the Marlins, as he brings along heir-apparent Jazz Chisholm. In the meantime, Rojas can be counted on to appear all over the infield.