5 Phillies players fighting for their futures heading into the 2024 season

It's still early, but which Phillies players have their future on the line entering 2024?
Philadelphia Phillies outfielders Johan Rojas and Cristian Pache
Philadelphia Phillies outfielders Johan Rojas and Cristian Pache / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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Johan Rojas

It may seem cruel to put Johan Rojas in the category of fighting for his future already. After all, his arrival in the big leagues just happened last year when he made his debut following the All-Star break. Rojas actually fared quite well, as he appeared to hold his own both offensively and defensively.

At the plate, he batted .302 with a .771 OPS, 24 runs scored, nine doubles, two triples, two home runs, 23 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in 59 games. More impressive was his work in the field as Rojas provided elite defense in the outfield, leading the team with 15 DRS while making spectacular plays almost every game.

However, it was during the postseason that Rojas’ suspect hitting became exposed. In total, he compiled an underwhelming .093 batting average and .276 OPS, with just four hits along with a whopping 15 strikeouts in 43 at-bats over 13 playoff games. As a result, he needs to seriously work on his plate discipline and hitting mechanics to be a successful hitter when facing MLB pitching.

But with the recent offseason addition of Whit Merrifield, along with the progressive development of both top outfield prospects in the Phillies’ system in Justin Crawford and Gabriel Rincones Jr., Rojas may actually be under some pressure this year to deliver in order to secure a permanent spot in the Phillies’ outfield for now and the future.

If he cannot prove that his bat is MLB-ready, Merrifield can easily take his spot in the outfield this season, and subsequently, the eventual arrivals of Crawford and Rincones would push him out of the spot in the following years.

More than two weeks into spring training, Rojas has worked hard at producing quality at-bats, per The Philadelphia Inquirer's Scott Lauber, but has yet to show drastic improvement. He has a .152 average, .394 OPS, two runs scored, four RBI, no walks and seven strikeouts in 10 games. Hopefully, he will be able to find his way before his playing time and future role with the team becomes significantly affected.