7 December 2023

‘This is it…’ Once the best hitter in the KBO, he’s finally making a ‘full comeback’ in Korea Read more… Again destroying the ecosystem?

By pestfood.com

Former MVP slugger Mel Rojas Jr. (33), who once took the KBO League by storm and established himself as one of its best hitters before moving on to Japan, is set to return to Korea.
“Mel Rojas Jr. has reached an agreement with the KT Wiz of the KBO League,” Mike Rodriguez, a reporter for MLB Insider, said on his personal social networking site on June 6 (KST).

Rojas is very familiar to KBO fans. Rojas joined the KT Wiz in 2017 as an alternate foreign hitter and spent four years with the organization. In 2017, Rojas played in 83 games, batting .301 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs. In 2018, he played in all 144 games, batting .305 with 43 home runs, 114 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases. In 2018, Rojas ranked second in runs scored (114), ninth in hits (172), second in home runs, seventh in RBI, 10th in stolen bases (18), and second in walks (71).
Then, in 2019, Rojas played in 142 games, two short of the full complement, batting .322 with 24 home runs and 104 RBIs. He finished seventh overall in batting average, third in hits (168), ninth in doubles (30), fifth in home runs, and second in RBIs.

Finally, Rojas had his best year in 2020, dominating the KBO. In 142 games, he batted .349 with 47 home runs and 135 RBIs, winning four batting titles. He led the KBO in home runs and RBIs, as well as runs scored (116) and slugging percentage (.680), making him one of the league’s best players. He was second in hits (192) and sixth in doubles (39). Rojas was also named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2020 season.

However, the 2020 season was the last time we saw Rojas in South Korea. In his four seasons in the KBO, Rojas batted .321 (1971-for-633) with 132 home runs, 126 doubles, eight triples, 409 RBI, 350 runs scored, 27 stolen bases, 208 walks, 20 hit-by-pitches, and 475 strikeouts. Triple-digit batting average for the fourth straight year. There was no way the U.S. and Japan were going to let a player like Eric Peddy, who played for the NC Dinos this year, dominate the KBO, and Rojas ended up suiting up for the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball ahead of the 2021 season. KT offered him the highest contract for a foreign hitter in history, but couldn’t compete with the Japanese in a so-called “money fight”. At the time, Rojas said he wanted to play on a “bigger stage,” so he headed to Japan. 보스토토

However, Rojas was unable to integrate into Japanese professional baseball. In the 2021 season, Rojas hit just .217 with eight home runs and a .663 OPS in 60 games in Nippon Professional Baseball. He even suffered the humiliation of being sent down to the second team midway through the season. In 2022, he appeared in 89 games, batting .224 with nine home runs and an OPS of .732.