On Monday night, Mel Rojas Jr. hit his first home run since being promoted to Indianapolis. He has been hitting well since his promotion, batting an even .300 through 28 games, with an .811 OPS. On the season, Rojas is hitting .302/.382/.439 in 285 at-bats, with six homers and seven stolen bases.
Two Altoona highlights from the past few days. The first is an RBI double from Stetson Allie, his 11th double of the season. He also has 12 homers. Allie is batting just .224 this year, with 72 strikeouts in 62 games. He does however have a .785 OPS, thanks to the power numbers and 35 walks. He will need to cut down on the strikeouts to succeed at the higher levels, but the combination of walks and plus power give him a chance to develop into a valuable first baseman. It’s important to remember that two years ago at this time, he was learning third base in the GCL and getting his first pro at-bats, so it that regard, he has really progressed nicely. His second half will be interesting to watch, especially if he does good, because he will need to be added to the 40-man roster or the Pirates will risk losing him in the Rule V draft this off-season.
Elias Diaz adds an RBI double of his own from Saturday night. He is putting up great numbers for someone who was once considered a defense-first catcher. Diaz is hitting .313 with 11 doubles and five homers, leading to a .792 OPS. He has five hits in his last two games, including a solo homer last night.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.