Passan: Josh Rojas could be breakout player for D-backs in 2021

Mar 20, 2021, 7:13 AM | Updated: Mar 21, 2021, 2:56 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Josh Rojas (10) throws to first in a double play during the fourth i...

Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Josh Rojas (10) throws to first in a double play during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Sunday, March 7, 2021, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Chicago Cubs' Nico Hoerner, left, is out at second and Rafael Ortega is out at first. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Nearly two years after trading Zack Greinke to the Houston Astros, the Arizona Diamondbacks may be on the verge of reaping the benefits of the deal.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan believes utility player Josh Rojas will be the first to make an impact out of the group of players involved in the trade.

The Greinke trade could turn out to be a massive windfall for the Diamondbacks. Corbin Martin is back from Tommy John surgery and is throwing 98. J.B. Bukauskas is looking like a dominant late-inning reliever. When the DH comes to the NL, Seth Beer will drop into the cup. First up is Rojas, a Swiss Army type whose bat has looked extraordinary and could be Arizona’s latest find.

The Litchfield Park, Ariz., native has become an emerging player within the D-backs and showed flashes of potential in 2019.

Appearing in 41 games for the D-backs in 2019, Rojas batted .217 and had an on-base percentage of .312.

Despite a down 2020 that involved a back injury in the latter part of the year, the D-back is making his presence felt this spring training.

Rojas has reached base safely in 13 straight games and has batted .400 (16 for 40) with two doubles, three homers, eight RBIs, four walks and a 1.130 OPS in that span.

Among all qualified major leaguers this spring, Rojas ranks first in hits (16), fourth in total bases reached (27), fourth in batting average (.381), sixth in OPS (1.078), and eighth in slugging percentage and OBP (.643 and .435).

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Passan: Josh Rojas could be breakout player for D-backs in 2021