A beautiful left-handed stroke. Flawless hands in the field. University of Hawai’i third baseman Josh Rojas has made baseball look easy in his senior season.
His career with the Rainbow Warriors began as anything but.
Rojas hit just .222 in 2016, his junior season. The then second-baseman came in hyped as an instant plug-and-play junior college prospect, following a prolific summer campaign that landed him in the prestigious Cape Cod league.
“Last year even though I didn’t play bad defense last year, I think I took my at bats a little bit with me on the field.” Rojas said.
“I thought I had to do too much at times to get extra outs. It caused maybe some errors on defense.”
Rojas’ turnaround has been evident in the fun he’s having. With every web gem comes a sharp flip of the ball to a teammate and a confident smirk.
A transition from second to third base has run parallel with an explosion at home plate, where Rojas is leading Hawai’i in extra base hits (22) and OPS (.930).
“This year I feel like when everything’s working together the game just becomes so much smoother.”
Advanced statistics like “Wins Above Replacement” aren’t calculated in collegiate baseball, but ‘Bows head coach Mike Trapasso knows what kind of value he’s getting out of his hot bat at the hot corner.
“As good as he’s been offensively for us, and he’s been really good offensively this year, he’s probably saved us a good 20 runs at third base the way he’s played defensively.” Trapasso said.
“Every single series he’s been a highlight reel for us defensively so we’re gonna miss him being a senior. But I’m excited for him this final month of the season.”
Rojas and Hawai’i will continue the last leg of the 2017 season with UC Irvine Sunday night at 5:00 pm.