This article is part of our Bernie on the Scene series.
Happy New Year to each of you and yours. May this year be one of good health, peace and joy.
I will begin the New Year as I left off. I will profile players that you, my faithful readersm would like to learn more about. Thank you for your requests — please keep them coming. I'll keep at it all offseason as long as my readers have players they want me to profile.
Johan Rojas, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies signed Rojas out of the Dominican Republic in 2018. Amazingly, he signed for only $10,000, so he was a steal.
Rojas has progressed well in development, and his defensive ability, his superb arm strength and good speed could vault him to the big leagues. He has strength in his slight frame, but he may even gain more depth and power in the coming years. However, he is more of a defensive/stolen-base prospect than a hitter, at this point.
Rojas spent 2021 playing in Rookie League, Class-A and Class-A Advanced, a sign of the Phillies belief in his abilities. He hit a combined .262/.329/.417/.747 in 429 plate appearances across the three classifications. He hit 11 home runs, drove in 52 runs and stole 34 bases in 43 attempts, showing the speed and base-stealing ability the Phillies saw when they signed him.
The fact Rojas hit 11 home runs is very encouraging. He struck out only 77 times, which shows he can be trusted to be