D-backs’ Josh Rojas has newfound comfort defensively at 3rd base
May 6, 2023, 10:32 AM | Updated: 5:36 pm
(AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)
It is not a stretch to say Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Josh Rojas has taken massive strides defensively in 2023.
Statistically, Rojas ranks tied for first in outs above average at six with Detroit Tigers shortstop Javier Baez. According to StatCast, the D-backs third baseman has a 74% estimated success rate but adds 11% (highest in the majors) for an 85% success rate.
Additionally, Rojas, Baez and Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes lead the league with four runs prevented this season.
Only four players in MLB have above plus-four OAA. Last season, Rojas finished the year with negative-five OAA, 218th in the big leagues and negative-four runs prevented.
Rojas joined the Sports Info Solutions Baseball Podcast and talked about the adjustments he’s made on the hot corner.
“I feel really comfortable this year,” Rojas said.
“There were some things I needed to shore up from last year and I worked hard on those things in spring training, shoring up my footwork, my preset, how I am going to attack every single ball with my feet, not getting lazy on any plays, don’t take anything for granted. … I have felt really good this year.”
Rojas said last season was his first year taking a majority of the season’s reps at third and there were little things such as just catching the ball and throwing it to first thinking that was OK.
He credited third base coach Tony Perezchica, the training staff and his teammates for the newfound comfort at third and confidence.
“We have a close-knit group, everyone is holding each other accountable,” Rojas said.
“It’s easy to get called out by your teammates if you’re not doing something you should be. The fact we are so close and can tell each other when we are not holding up to the standard, it is really good for us.