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WBN’s International Player of the Week: Mel Rojas Jr.

 Julian Guilarte  |    May 31st, 2024 8:29pm EDT

Outfielder Rojas Jr. Mel #24 of Kt Wiz slides safely into home. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

The winner of WBN’s International Player of the Week is KBO outfielder Mel Rojas Jr.  Mel Rojas Jr. plays on the KT Wiz and is a Dominican American. Rojas went 2-for-5 with one home run and five RBI in an 8-5 win against the KIA Tigers. 

Rojas Jr. has hit three home runs in his last six games and has a 10-game hitting streak. Over the last six games, he has had 11 hits, a .423 batting average, 12 RBI, and seven runs. He has five multi-hit games during his 10-game hitting streak and has 17 RBIs.  In 56 games, Rojas Jr. is near the top of the leaderboards in several offensive categories in the KBO.

Rojas Jr. is second with 48 RBI, third with 14 home runs, fourth with 128 total bases, seventh with 68 hits, and second with 41 walks and an OPS of 1.017. This is his seventh season in the KBO and fifth with the KT Wiz. He played two seasons in the NPB with Hanshin Tigers from 2021-2022.

The slugger’s best season was in 2020, when he won the KBO MVP. He hit a league-leading 47 home runs and 135 RBI. His OPS was 1.097 in 550 at-bats. He also led the KBO with 116 ruins in 2020. Rojas Jr. capped off that special season by winning a Gold Glove in the outfield, the second straight year he won that award. 

Rojas, 34, has had a long journey through different countries and various leagues. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the 2010 MLB Draft.

He spent seven years in their farm system, making it as high as Triple-A. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in 2016 and went to the KBO in 2017.

His career Minor League stats are 46 home runs, 325 RBI, 94 stolen bases, and an OPS of .701 in 3,369 at-bats. 

In 2023, he played in the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol for Toros de Tijuana, Acereros de Monclova, and Guerreros de Oaxaca. He hit 11 home runs across 76 games for all three teams. 

He has also played six seasons in the LIDOM, with five of those coming with Tigres del Licey. He played twice in the Caribbean Series with the Dominican Republic, most recently in 2023 when they beat Venezuela’s Leones del Caracas 3-0 in the finals.  Rojas Jr, had five doubles, five RBI, and a batting average of .303 in 33 at-bats in the 2023 Caribbean Series.

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Julian Guilarte