PHILADELPHIA -- Almost nobody runs like Johan Rojas.
Very few play center field like him, too. They are just two reasons why the Phillies on Monday afternoon announced that they selected Rojas’ contract, placing him on the 40-man roster and protecting him from next month’s Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Rojas, who is the Phillies’ No. 5 prospect, was the only Rule 5 Draft-eligible player the Phils placed on the 40-man roster before Monday’s deadline.
Other top prospects like Andrew Painter (No. 1), Mick Abel (No. 2), Justin Crawford (No. 3), Griff McGarry (No. 4) and others are not eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, where the Phillies in previous years selected Dave Hollins (1989), Shane Victorino (2004), Ender Inciarte (2012) and Odúbel Herrera (2014).
Rojas, 22, split the 2022 season with High-A Jersey Shore and Double-A Reading. He slashed a combined .244/.309/.354 with 20 doubles, seven triples, seven home runs, 38 RBIs, 82 runs scored and 62 stolen bases. Rojas, who was caught stealing only five times, posted a .720 OPS in 264 plate appearances with Reading.
He ranked eighth in Minor League Baseball in stolen bases. They were the most by a Phillies’ prospect since Anthony Gose stole 76 in 2009.
Rojas slashed .310/.423/.452 with 13 stolen bases in 13 attempts in 12 games in the Arizona Fall League.
The Phillies have 37 players on the 40-man roster.