Homar Rojas Villarreal
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 175 lb.
Homar Rojas caught for 23 years in the minor leagues before becoming a manager. Not noted for his ability to drew a walk, he was a good contact hitter, topping .300 nine times. He also showed power at times, cracking 150 home runs.
1982-1983: Teenage troubles
Rojas debuted in 1982 with the Monterrey Sultans and gave no indication of his future success, going 5 for 55 with a walk, 14 strikeouts, two doubles and one RBI in a miserable campaign. In 1983, the teenager hit .209/.232/.291 with 65 strikeouts in 292 AB and only 20 runs in 95 games.
1984-1986: Steady progress
Rojas moved to the Mexico City Tigers in 1984 and showed improvement, hitting .263/.308/.390. He batted .281/.345/.440 in 1985. At age 22 in 1986, he had a big year, hitting .319/.357/.564 with 30 doubles, 23 home runs and 89 RBI. It was a high-octane offensive season in the Mexican League, but Rojas still hit the most homers and tied for the RBI lead on the #2 team in the League while handling a pitching staff headed by now-legendary Angel Moreno and Jesus Rios.
1987-1990: In the US
Rojas's performance caught the eye of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who signed him. He spent 1987 with the Bakersfield Dodgers (0 for 3) and the San Antonio Dodgers (.237/~.253/.340). In 1988, he hit .274/.285/.342 for the Vero Beach Dodgers. He had 10 double plays, leading the Florida State League's catchers. A couple pitchers he worked with, Masahiro Yamamoto and Chris Nichting, finished 2nd and 3rd in the FSL in ERA.
In 1989, Rojas was 0 for 3 with the Albuquerque Dukes and .301/~.356/.376 for the San Antonio Missions as the backup to Texas League All-Star catcher Carlos Hernandez. Returning to San Antonio in a more regular role in 1990, Homar hit .282/.351/.402. Despite his success in AA, it was his last season in the Dodgers organization and he returned to Mexico for his last 14 years as a player.
1991-1995: Back in Mexico
In the 1991 Mexican League campaign, Homar hit .324/.419/.588 for the Tigres. In 1992, he split time between Mexico City and the Monterrey Industrials, hitting .260/.337/.431 overall. With the Industrials full-time in 1993, he produced at a .278/.347/.346 clip. In the 1993-1994 winter season, he hit .268 and slugged .348.
In 1994, Rojas moved to the Mexico City Red Devils and helped them to the best record in the Liga and the title. He hit .343/.388/.503 to finish 4th in the league in batting average behind Adam Casillas, Johnny Monell Sr. and Tony Chance; he was the only native Mexican in the top 5. He handled a talented pitching staff which included four future major leaguers - Elmer Dessens, Roberto Ramirez, Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon.
Rojas kept it up in 1995, hitting .332/.389/.420.
He hit the skids in 1996, though, only batting .247/.310/.303 for the Red Devils. In the winter of 1996-1997, he batted .248 and slugged .333 for the Mayos de Navojoa. Moving to the Yucatan Lions for the summer of 1997, he hit .252/.286/.344 and suffered an injury that nearly ended his career.
In 1998, Rojas moved to the Guerreros de Oaxaca and burst back onto the scene in amazing form. He hit .352/.396/.549 for the best OPS of his career. He tied Matias Carrillo for 6th in the LMB in batting average and smashed 33 doubles (3 behind leader Ruben Aganza). He led the Liga with 9 sacrifice flies. His 92 RBI were a career high, albeit 18 behind leader Nelson Barrera.
In the winter of 1998-1999, he hit .278 and slugged .424 for the Yaquis de Obregón. He hit .322/.384/.444 for Oaxaca in the summer of 1999 and .297/.360/.552 in 2000. In his 19th year in Organized Baseball, he hit 17 home runs in 279 at-bats.
Through 2000, Rojas had hit .293/.347/.443 in the Mexican League with 117 home runs in 4,261 AB over 1,272 games.
2001-2004: Winding down
In the winter of 2000-2001, Homar hit .241 and slugged .403 for Obregon with 10 homers, 5 off of the lead. In 2001, he only hit .240 with 7 HR and 41 RBI for Oaxaca, his lowest summer average since his 1987 stop in San Antonio. In 2001-2002, Rojas batted .300 and slugged .458 for Obregon in his last big winter season as a player.
In 2002, Rojas hit .290 with 11 homers and 78 RBI for Oaxaca at age 38. The next year, he hit .305 with 3 home runs and 20 RBI in a reduced role and in 2004, he batted .300 with 3 circuit clouts and 49 RBI.
Overall, he hit .291 in the Mexican League.
2005- : Managerial career
After retiring, Rojas was hired as manager of Oaxaca, the team he had spent the most time with. He also began managing in winter ball with Obregon and led them to the 2007-2008 Mexican Pacific League title, their first pennant in 27 years. They were 2-4 in the 2008 Caribbean Series but handed the Tigres del Licey their only loss of the Series and took them to extra innings the other game they played.
- Assorted Baseball Guides and Baseball Almanacs
- The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros
- Noticias de Oaxaca
- Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database