Rojas played two seasons at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix. He later transferred to the University of Hawaii to play baseball. He majored in sociology.
Josh's parents are Michelle and Jeremy Rojas, and he has one younger sister.
June 2017: Rojas was the Astros 26th-round pick, out of the Univ. of Hawaii. He signed for $1,000.
Aug 12, 2019: When D-backs manager Torey Lovullo looks up at the calendar, he sees that it’s mid-August. So there’s no time to waste if you’re in the thick of a NL Wild Card race. In that spirit, Arizona called up hot-hitting Joshua Rojas from Triple-A Reno and slotted him into the starting lineup for the series opener against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Rojas, the club’s No. 29 prospect per MLB Pipeline and an Arizona native, delivered his first two Major League hits, including an RBI single to bring in an insurance run in the seventh inning of an 8-6 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field.
Before the game, Lovullo admitted the move was made to help jumpstart his club’s offense following a quiet three-game series in Los Angeles. It paid off, at least for one night.
“A lot of people were telling me Rojas is that type of player, a player that can add instant offense to a ballclub,” Lovullo said. “These are the dog days of the baseball season. When we can add somebody that has those qualities ... it’s going to help you out.”
While it’s uncertain how much playing time Rojas will receive, he could be key down the stretch if his hot streak continues, particularly with Adam Jones slumping. At Triple-A Reno following the trade, Rojas went 18-for-35 (.514) with three homers. That came on top of an already prolific season while in the Houston organization, in which he had hit 20 homers and 32 steals between Double-A and Triple-A.
Lovullo and company are in “win-now” mode, whatever that may require. Rojas is the latest example, and he made a good first impression.
“It definitely feels good to help get a win,” Rojas said. “That’s my goal, to get wins.” (M Randwaha - MLB.com - Aug 13, 2019)
2019 season: Another senior sign, Rojas turned pro for $1,000 as a 26th-rounder from Hawaii in 2017. He didn't do much offensively until this year, when he played six different positions and went from the Astros to the Diamondbacks in the Zack Greinke trade in July.
He and fellow POY honorees Robert and Kyle Tucker are the only Minor Leaguers who produced 20 homers and 30 steals in 2019.
2020 Season: Rojas, who was part of the Diamondbacks’ return in the Zack Greinke trade, went just 5 for 34 in the Cactus League. His struggles continued at summer camp in intrasquad and exhibition games, in which he went a combined 0 for 27 with four walks. During the regular season, he hit just .180 (11 for 61).
2021 Season: Rojas, who went from occasional utility guy to lead the team in plate appearances at the age of 27. That included starting games at five different positions: second base, third base, shortstop and both corner outfield positions, showing a degree of versatility that was very helpful. His 103 OPS+ represented a breakthrough at the plate and was the best by any Diamondback hitter in 2021 with enough PA to qualify. He’ll still be earning minimum wage next season, and is under team control through the end of the 2026 season, so he figures to be a cog as the team looks to rebuild from their current trough. (Jim McLennan@AZSnakepit Dec 20, 2021)
- June 2017: Rojas was the Astros 26th-round pick, out of the Univ. of Hawaii. He signed for $1,000.
- July 31, 2019: The D-backs traded Zack Greinke and cash to the Astros; acquiring RHP Corbin Martin, RHP J.B. Bukauskas, 3B Joshua Rojas and LF Seth Beer.
- Feb 16, 2023: The D-backs won their arbitration case against Rojas, with the decision being handed down. Rojas will make $2.575 million in 2023 instead of the $2.9 million he was seeking.
|Birth City:||Glendale, AZ|
|Draft:||Astros #26 - 2017 - Out of Univ. of Hawaii|
|2017||2||2 teams: FRE-QC||56||207||35||54||5||5||10||40||0||0||19||46||.319||.478||.261|
Rojas has impressive lefthanded power. But his hit tool is even better.
Josh describes himself as a “defensive mutt,’’ having played all over the diamond during his baseball career.
“I’ve always been a defensive mutt. When I got called up to varsity in high school, I played the outfield,’’ he said. “Wherever I’m needed is where I’ve always been willing to play. That won’t change now. I’ll give it everything I have wherever I’m needed.’’ (Steve Batterson - Jul 12, 2017 - QuadCityTimes.com)
- Rojas draws the “dirtbag” label because of his penchant for playing everywhere. He's solid at second and third base(s). And he has also played both outfield corners.
Rojas came up as an infielder but also has some Minor League experience at both corner outfield spots. He was thrown into the deep end of the pool: left field in the cavernous Coors Field, one of the most difficult places to run down fly balls or prevent extra bases.
But the 25-year-old played the position with aplomb. He made a great play in the second inning, running down a Nolan Arenado fly ball headed toward the left-center field gap. According to Statcast, the catch probability on the play was 30 percent, making it a four-star catch. Rojas needed to cover 82 feet in 4.8 seconds, and he made the play look relatively easy. (M Randwaha - MLB.com - Aug 13, 2019)
Josh Likes to be aggressive and smart on the base-paths. He attributes this growth to his development in minor leagues with the Astros.
“I’d say the two biggest reason for my increase in steals is confidence and data. This year my confidence in getting bags is really high because of our manager Morgan Ensberg. He really pushes us to compete hard and likes our mistakes to be made being aggressive.
"I love being aggressive on the bases so the fact that he wants that from us is all it took for me to gain the confidence to get moving. The other big thing was data. In spring training we went over baserunning a lot. We basically learned that we as an organization aren’t getting picked off enough. Weird right? But this was because we were being too careful with our leads, and this distance that we are losing with our leads can cause us to be out on bang-bang plays both with steals and first-to-thirds.
"So in spring training I worked on a bigger lead. It took a little bit before I could steal from there because you’re so worried about getting picked, but I figured it out.” (Jimmy Price - Astros Future.com - May 2, 2018)
Sept 22-28, 2020: Josh was on the IL with lower back inflammation.
July 22-Aug 10, 2021: Josh was on the IL with left finger dislocation. He injured his pinkie while attempting to steal second base on July 21.
April 7-May 6, 2022: Josh was on the IL with a Grade 2 right oblique strain.