At Marlin Maniac, we’ve been previewing each player as the team gets ready for the regular season.
Miguel Rojas has been with the Miami Marlins since the 2015 season, and as such is the longest tenured player on the parent club. Of course, that’s not counting the minor leagues. Jose Urena has been with the organization since 2010, and is the longest-tenured player overall.
Rojas is a six-foot, 195 lb. shortstop from Los Teques, VZ born on February 24th, 1989. Originally he was a part of the Cincinnati Reds organization, making his professional debut in 2008 with the Billings Mustangs in the Rookie-level Pioneer League. He appeared at most levels of the Reds system over the next five seasons, joining the Los Angeles Dodgers for 2013.
Rojas made his major league debut with Los Angeles the following year, when he hit just .181 in 85 contests. After that season the Dodgers traded him with Dan Haren and cash to the Miami Marlins for Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher, Andrew Heaney, and Enrique Hernandez.
Since then, Rojas has played five full seasons with the Miami Marlins, playing all over the diamond. He’s started 322 games at shortstop, 44 games at third base, 28 games at second base, and nine games at first.
Despite appearing at shortstop way more than at any other position, Rojas didn’t fully and completely nail down the starting job until 2020 out of spring training. Used more as a utility superman for most of his career, Rojas has above-average advanced metrics at each position excepting first base. Resultantly, over half of Rojas 7.9 career WAR while with the Miami Marlins is due to his play on the defensive side of the ball.
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But don’t sleep on Rojas at the plate either. Although not a slugger by any means, he did manage to clobber 11 dingers in 2018. For his Marlins career, he owns a .270/.320/.360 slashline, but more impressively has racked up an 11.9 percent strikeout rate. Last season’s mark of 11.8 percent led the Marlins and ranked in the top four percent of the National League, according to StatCast.
This past offseason, Rojas signed a two-year, $9.75 million deal to remain with the Miami Marlins, with a $5.5 million option for 2022. Already well respected in the clubhouse, Rojas is the heir apparent to the unofficial “captain” role filled by Martin Prado in recent past seasons.
This spring, Rojas has gone six-for-21 at the plate, with a pair of doubles, a homer, and four RBI. With Jazz Chisholm bound to climb the ladder, Rojas’ time as the Marlins starting shortstop will likely last through this season. Next year, however, it’s likely he resumes his duties as the guy who can play everywhere.