Mel Rojas Jr. Signs With Acereros de Monclova In Liga Mexicana de Beisbol

Mel Rojas Jr. of the Hanshin Tigers slides safely into the third base in the 7th inning against Hiroshima Toyo Carp at Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium Hiroshima on October 23, 2021 in Hiroshima, Japan. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Professional journeyman outfielder Mel Rojas Jr. signed with Acereros de Monclova for the 2023 Liga Mexicana de Beisbol regular season after starting off the last few months Toros de Tijuana and signing with them on March 6. 

Rojas played with Toros through the first seven games of the regular season, where he batted .276 in 32 plate appearances, with eight hits, one home run, two RBI, three walks, and 11 strikeouts. 

During the last winter league season in the Liga de Beisbol Profesional de la Republica Dominicana circuit, Rojas played for Tigres del Licey and played in 15 games with 54 plate appearances, batting .156 and smacking seven hits, one home run, three RBI, eight walks, striking out 10 times, and knocking the game-winning hit against Estrellas Orientales in the deciding game five of the LIDOM championship series. The hit scored New York Mets prospect Ronnie Mauricio and gave the Tigres their 23rd LIDOM title and secured a Caribbean Series berth for the Tigres for the first time since the 2016-17 season. 

Rojas continued his hot hitting in Caracas, Venezuela during the 2023 Caribbean Series, where he batted .303 in nine games with 39 plate appearances, scoring six runs, recording 10 hits, five doubles, five RBI, and drawing five walks en route to Tigres’ 11th  Caribbean Series championship .

Rojas played in the Korea Baseball Organization with the KT Wiz for four seasons from 2017 to 2020, batting .321 with 132 home runs and 409 RBI. Rojas was also awarded two KBO Golden Glove Awards in 2019-2020, won the 2020 KBO MVP award, and led the KBO in three categories during the 2020 in home runs, runs batted in, and runs scored. 

After the 2020 regular season, Rojas headed over to play in Japan in Nippon Professional Baseball for the Hanshin Tigers, where he played his last two seasons, batting .220 with 17 home runs and 48 RBI. 

Rojas’s path towards Major League Baseball was cut short after he was drafted in the third round from Wabash Valley College in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft in the third round and signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He made his pro debut shortly thereafter for the Short Season Single-A State College Spikes. 

Rojas spent parts of three seasons with Triple-A Indianapolis before he was traded to the Atlanta Braves on May 9, 2016. He was assigned to the Double-A Mississippi before being promoted to the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves seven weeks later, where he finished the season batting .253 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs before heading overseas. 

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