Age isn’t everything (but only rarely)
So what does this strange age anomaly surrounding Rojas actually mean? It means nothing, but everything, at the same time. His development has not been impacted one bit, in fact his development is about on par or even a little bit ahead of where it should be. Just this past season we saw Rojas win the hearts and confidence of the fans after destroying Triple A with his .293/.362/.577 slash line in 578 plate appearances while also clobbering 31 HRs for 107 RBIs across the season. Again, this was just his 4th season within the Angels system despite him being 26 years old. When you see 26 years old you assume it’s a prospect that’s had at least 5-7 years of MiLB development and you wonder if maybe something is off with their developmental ability and that’s why they’ve been in the MiLB for so long. However, as I just mentioned, Rojas finished his 4th MLB season in 2019 with a phenomenal year, though that isn’t to say that he’s perfectly ripe for the picking.
There are still some general issues with Rojas, nothing more than the standard developmental process however, just things such as plate discipline and keeping himself in control of the count. Too often would we see Rojas expand his zone and chase pitches, if he wants to survive in the Majors he’s going to need to fine-tune his plate approach a bit more because as it is, with his big-swinging ways, he managed 131 Ks with only 58 BBs in 578 plate appearances. Not the best of appearances, but nothing that isn’t out of the ordinary for a prospect in his 4th developmental season and 2nd in Triple A. In fact it could still be argued he’s a bit ahead of the curve in terms of development as his best attributes skyrocketed in 2019 while also seeing his developmental needs see solid improvements. Really, the fact that Rojas had a fantastic season with just his K rate being one of his very few issues shows that he can be MLB ready much faster than anyone in the organization anticipated as long as he continues to evolve as he has been for 4 seasons.
All season long Angel fans we’re clamoring for Jose Rojas to find time in the MLB, and in a season where the Angels management was forced to dig deep into the MiLB system to scrape up depth for a injury plagued team it seemed like a crime against the fanbase to have Jose Rojas skipped over for MLB time. It especially hurt the fans to see guys like Matt Thaiss struggle immensely yet stick around for last leg of the season while Rojas couldn’t even sneak a cup of coffee in. There are a few reasons as to why the Angels seemingly neglected Jose Rojas through all of 2019, and though you make not like them at the end of the day it really comes down to front office politics.