Mel Rojas Jr.
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 225 lb.
Outfielder Mel Rojas Jr. comes from a prestigious baseball family. He is the son of Mel Rojas, the nephew of Francisco Rojas and his father is a cousin of the Alou clan - Matty Alou, Felipe Alou, Jesus Alou, Moises Alou, Jose Alou and Felipe Alou Jr.
Rojas stole 60 bases in 62 tries as a college freshman in 2010, leading all junior college players in swipes. Combined with his size (and related power potential), he easily became the highest pick in the history of Wabash Valley Community College. The Pittsburgh Pirates took him in the third round of the 2010 amateur draft, the 84th overall selection. He was the only position player they took in the first ten rounds.
Assigned to the State College Spikes, Rojas was at .250/.364/.310 after 26 games, with five steals in eight tries. He faded badly after that solid start, ending the year with a batting line of .207/.309/.250 in 34 games. In 2011, he moved up to the West Virginia Power of the South Atlantic League. In 131 games, he hit .246/.312/.335, with 66 runs scored and 46 RBI. He stole 23 bases but was caught 14 times while manning centerfield for the team. In 2012, he played for the Bradenton Marauders of the Florida State League, hitting .245 in 130 games. he did hit 12 triples and was successful in 16 of 24 stolen bases attempts.
After three middling seasons, Rojas took a step forward in 2013 while playing in AA with the Altoona Curve of the Eastern League. His .274 average in 120 games was easily the highest of his professional career and he scored 57 runs and drove in 51. He hit 28 doubles and 9 triples, starting to show some decent power while splitting his time between center and left field. In 2014, he made it to AAA after starting the year back at Altoona. He hit a solid .303/.379/.476 in 53 games in the Eastern League to earn the promotion to the Indianapolis Indians at the end of May. He continued to be a productive hitter in AAA, with a .277 average in 77 games, to end up with a combined line of .288/.370/.423, with 19 doubles, 10 homers (his first season in double figures), 61 runs and 66 RBIs. However, he was down to 11 stolen bases in 18 attempts, his speed diminishing as he put on some muscle. He started the 2015 season back at Indianapolis