Detroit Tigers Free Agent Review: OF Mel Rojas Jr
Per MLB Trade Rumors, after a monster season in the KBO, MVP Mel Rojas Jr has drawn interest from a few MLB teams. Could the corner outfielder be serviceable for the Detroit Tigers?
There are a lot of unknowns around baseball at the moment when it comes to teams spending money to upgrade their rosters. There a few stories that have come out like the Phillies lost $186 million without fans in 2020 and the Rays moving Blake Snell to free up money. The one known fact is for the Detroit Tigers will have to sign a few players that we have been highlighting that could be realistic or we would like to see happen.
In this case, we can classify this idea as “creative” since the unknown for Detroit is how much they can spend. MLB Trade Rumors did a write-up on outfielder on recently crowned KBO MVP Mel Rojas Jr, who became the first Latino player to ever win the award. If that’s a name that sounds familiar, his father, Mel Rojas, was a reliever for the Expos, Dodgers, Cubs, Tigers, and Mets.
His uncles are Felipe and Matty Alou and his cousin is Moises Alou so the bloodlines are strong. Considering how good all three of those outfielders were in their prime, it is quite impressive.
Mel Rojas Jr was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 3rd round back in 2010. After making it as high as Triple-A, he decided to give the KBO a shot, and the move paid off. As reported by MLB Trade Rumors, several MLB teams have shown an interest in the corner outfielder.
In four seasons in the KBO, Rojas Jr has put up a slash line of .321/.388/.594 with some eye-popping home run numbers. He hit 43 bombs in 2018 and this season, he put up quite a line, batting .349/.417/.680 with 47 home runs and 135 RBIs, almost pulling off a Triple Crown season as he finished second in the league in batting average.
The translation as the article explained to MLB numbers according to Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs, comes out to be .266/.314/.448, which is better production than what Detroit got in right and left field in 2020. Check out the power.
For the Tigers, who need a corner outfielder, Rojas Jr fits the need. According to his scouting report done by Ted Baarda of Sports Info Solutions, he has good instincts in the outfield, can track balls well, and has a good arm.
The reason why I placed him as a “creative” idea to sign is that he is seeking to make more than his $1.5 million he made in Korea so Detroit may have the room to sign him if they do not have the ability to go after a big name . With George Springer and Toronto seem to be more than just friendly and so far, the players that have signed are pitchers, with Mike Minor being the latest to sign by the Royals last night.
For the Tigers, I think this is an idea that could pay off as it did for the Brewers when they signed Eric Thames. Detroit signed a first baseman named Cecil Fielder after he played in Japan and that turned out to be a good idea 30 years ago.