Phillies 2024 Season Preview: OF Johan Rojas

We know Rojas will play great defense this year; it will just come down to whether his bat lets him stick in the majors all season.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two / Elsa/GettyImages

Up next in our Philadelphia Phillies 2024 Season Preview is outfielder Johan Rojas.

Previous season previews: José Alvarado, Andrew Bellatti, Alec Bohm, Connor Brogdon, Nick Castellanos, Rodolfo Castro, Kody Clemens, Jake Cave, Dylan Covey, Seranthony Domínguez, Darick Hall, Kolby Allard, Bryce Harper, Jeff Hoffman, Orion Kerkering, Rafael Marchán, Brandon Marsh, Yunior Marté, Michael Mercado, McKinley Moore, Max Castillo, Nick Nelson, Aaron Nola, Luis Ortiz, Cristian Pache, J.T. Realmuto

We'll examine Rojas' 2023 season and then evaluate projections for the 2024 season using the Steamer and ZiPS projection systems, which can be found on FanGraphs.

Johan Rojas 2023 stats and 2024 projections

2023 Stats: 59 G, 164 PA, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 14 SB, 5 BB, .302/.342/.430, .771 OPS, 1.4 fWAR

2024 Steamer: 86 G, 326 PA, 6 HR, 34 RBI, 17 SB, 17 BB, .253/.300/.381, .681 OPS, 0.8 fWAR

2024 ZiPS DC: 86 G, 371 PA, 4 HR, 37 RBI, 20 SB, 17 BB, .241/.285/.347, .632 OPS, 0.6 fWAR

Johan Rojas 2024 season preview

Johan Rojas was the fourth-ranked prospect in the Phillies' 2022 MLB Pipeline prospect rankings. His production in the minors during the first half of last year increased the likelihood of making his debut in the major leagues.

The 23-year-old outfielder debuted on July 15, 2023, and made an immediate impact defensively for the Phillies with this double play.

Rojas' talent made the club better defensively in center field, with another good player in outfielder Brandon Marsh. The Dominican finished with a .986 fielding percentage, two errors, three assists, and 135 putouts in 57 regular season contests. In 13 postseason games, he had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and 29 putouts.

One memorable moment was his game-winning hit during the Sept. 26 contest last year that clinched a playoff spot for the Phillies. The club headed back to the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2010 and 2011, thanks to the youngster's hit.

Offensively, he was solid during the regular season. He posted a .302/.342/.430 slash line with an OPS of .772, 24 runs, 23 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in 59 contests. However, he showed he needs to improve at the plate following his struggles during the postseason. In 13 games and 43 at-bats, he had 15 strikeouts and a .093/.114/.163 line with a .277 OPS.

Rojas made a key contribution in Game 4 of the National League Divisional Series between Philadelphia and the Atlanta Braves. His catch prevented the Braves from potentially taking the lead at a pivotal point in the game.

He demonstrated exceptional ability in the outfield for his young age, making the decision challenging for the Phillies if they decide he needs to begin 2024 in the minor leagues to improve his offense.

Rojas is likely to begin the season with the Phillies, but it's not guaranteed

One of the topics Phillies president of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, discussed recently during a guest spot on SportsRadio 94 WIP's Morning Show was whether the outfielder would begin the regular season with Philadelphia.

"Likely, yes, definitively, no," Dombrowski said. "I've talked to our hitting people at length about his progress over the winter time. He's worked extremely hard. He's made adjustments that he needs to make."

Alex Coffey of The Philadelphia Inquirer recently wrote that Rojas has been working with Florida Complex Phillies manager Shawn Williams to improve his bunting. According to Williams, he needs to get into the habit of bunting at the major league level after having success in the minors.

Rojas 2024 season projections

Both ZiPS DC and Steamer project Rojas to play in 86 games with the Phillies this season. The system projections may be factoring in that he may not begin the year in the majors, or he may be sent down during the season.

He has a slash line of .241/.285/.347 and a .632 OPS with the ZiPS DC projection. Steamer predicts Rojas will have a slightly better line of .253/.300/.381 and an OPS of .681. The projection also has the center fielder finishing with 67 strikeouts compared to ZiPS DC's prediction of 81.

ZiPS DC predicts Rojas will successfully steal 20 out of 24 attempts, while Steamer projects him to be successful in stealing 17 of 22 attempts. ZiPS DC has the outfielder finishing with 37 RBI, which is a bit more than Steamer's projection of 34.

Rojas can progress during his second season, proving he can be a reliable outfielder with the Phillies for the next several years. He will be one of the more exciting players on the club to watch in 2024. He showed promise during his minor league career that has carried over during his time in the majors.