Which current Miami Marlins player could eventually become the team’s manager once he hangs up his cleats and his on-field career?
If Martin Prado was still on the Miami Marlins roster, he would have been a runaway choice as a player who could wind up managing the team he played for or as a skipper for another organization. Now, as the Marlins roster takes shape, one player above everyone else comes to mind to fill that kind of role.
Miguel Rojas is without a doubt the player who one day could stand on the steps of the dugout, making decisions in South Florida. One of the most respected men to put on a Marlins uniform and potentially the leader on the field and in the clubhouse, his leadership offer skipper Don Mattingly another set of eyes and another voice to help groom the youngsters as stars of tomorrow.
I would have grouped Starlin Castro in the mix had he remained with the Miami Marlins organization. His work at the plate, his dependability in playing every day, and his leadership were invaluable last season despite a 57-105 record in 2019.
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The topic of players who could become managers in the future was brought up by Zachary Silver of MLB.com as he examined each team in the National League East. He called upon each beat writer to give their assessment of who fits the future title of all five teams.
"“Who says you have to be a former catcher to become a big-league manager? Someday, Rojas could make the case for ex-shortstops,” writes Joe Frisaro. “Currently, there aren’t too many primary shortstops — or middle infielders, for that matter — who are managing big-league clubs. Ron Gardenhire of the Tigers played short in the big leagues, and Craig Counsell of the Brewers was primarily a second baseman.”"
Rojas has a skillset where he doesn’t do one thing exceedingly better than anything else, but he does provide consistency when needed and his versatility makes him someone the young Marlins need to help push through this coming season.
Miami figures once again to be clawing out of the basement of their division. How league play will work out based on a shortened season and how the divisions are aligned have not been determined yet. Rojas and his teammates could see new faces and new rivalries take shape because of how the COVID-19 pandemic has made the MLB front office reassess how to play everyday baseball.
That could have a direct impact on how the 31-year-old is used in the infield.
"“Rojas is arguably the Marlins’ best defensive infielder at any of the four spots. He knows how to play each of the positions, and he knows the game. He has also appeared in left field,” Frisaro adds."
Before the end of last season, the Marlins and Rojas came to terms on a two-year contract extension. He should open the season as the team’s starting shortstop.