Philadelphia Phillies: 5 options to consider for 4th outfield spot

Alec Whitaker
Adam Duvall (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)
Adam Duvall (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports) /
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Johan Rojas (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Johan Rojas (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports) /

2. Johan Rojas

The Phillies were not afraid to play young players in 2022, and that should continue in 2023. An interesting option for the Phillies’ fourth outfield spot is prospect Johan Rojas.

Rated as the No. 5 prospect in the system, Rojas has an elite glove/speed combination, but the bat is still a work in progress. Rojas has a 70-scouting grade for running and a 60-scouting grade for fielding.

The problem with Rojas is lack of experience. He has played just 60 games at Double-A and slashed .260/.333/.387 in 235 at-bats. His speed may make him valuable in 2023, though. Next season, MLB will have a couple of changes that impact baserunning — larger bases and a rule that only allows a pitcher to throw over twice per batter. In other words, there will be more stolen bases next season.

Outside of Trea Turner, there may not be a better base stealer in the Phillies organization than Rojas. In 130 games between High-A and Double-A in 2022, he stole 62 bases. The thought of batting him ninth with Turner right behind him in the leadoff spot is exciting.

Rojas is already on the 40-man roster and should get an opportunity to showcase his skills in spring training. The big question is whether his bat will be ready for major league pitching this season.

Also, Rojas likely wouldn’t play every day if he made the team, which could hurt his development. It would be more beneficial to Rojas and the organization to have him receiving at-bats every day in the minors.

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