It was the reunion that both the team and the players wanted. Mel Rojas Jr. (34), the “2020 MVP” who returned after four years, already has a unique presence.헤라카지노주소
Rojas won the MVP award in 2020 when he hit .349 (192 hits in 550 at-bats) with 47 homers and 135 RBIs in the league with 1.097 OPS. However, Rojas left KT, his company since 2017, and challenged to the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). He signed a two-year contract with the Hanshin Tigers for a total of 5.5 million dollars. KT was treated the best in Korea, but it was unable to match Japan’s money power.
His challenge to Japan ended in failure. Due to the aftermath of COVID-19, he made his debut late because he couldn’t get a visa in time, and he couldn’t easily adjust to it. He showed poor performance with a batting average of 217 (41 hits in 189 times at bat) with eight homers and 21 RBIs in 60 games (OPS.663). The following year was no different. He recorded a batting average of 224 (41 hits in 183 times at bat) in 89 games, and retired with nine homers and 27 RBIs (OPS.732). He played in the Mexican league last year.
Then, he returned to KT in four years. He signed a contract worth 900,000 U.S. dollars. After Rojas left, KT did not have a noticeable presence of foreign hitters. Joilo Almonte, Jarrod Hoying (2021), Henry Ramos (2022), and Anthony Alford (2022-2023) played for the team, but they did not display as much presence as Rojas did. There were many regrettable moments due to injury and sluggishness. This is also why KT has come back to Rojas.
With the addition of Rojas, KT has established a strong lineup of Rojas, Park Byung-ho, and Kang Baek-ho. It is safe to say that the team is the best among the 10 teams. “He is a foreign player who performed well in our country. I heard that he was a good teammate, as he respected the Korean baseball culture outside of baseball. In that regard, I have high expectations and I think we need to do well to each other while receiving some help that we can get through conversations,” he said. “It is true that if there is a batter who can hit long and short balls, the pressure will be reduced. As he may not be in good condition at times, he will be comfortable if anyone solves the problem,” he said.
Captain Park Kyung-soo also said that he sometimes missed Rojas. “Other foreign hitters were definitely nice to me. But at some point, I kept thinking about Rojas. I often said things like this with my players,” Park said. “Rohas is not fancy in batting or in outfield defense, but he didn’t make disappointing plays. I think he will be very good in both offense and defense. He can play the full season without any injury, so I think he came to the right place.”
After joining KT, Rojas acted as if he was still with the team. That’s how comfortable he was. “It’s so comfortable to be back home. I was away for a while, but my teammates welcomed me very comfortably,” Rojas said. “Not only KT but other countries including the U.S. and Japan made suggestions. However, it was the most comfortable place and I thought KT was the best option, so I didn’t feel any pressure to come back.”
The impact of 2020 was impressive. KT is also expecting Rojas to show 2020-class performances. “I’m in excellent physical condition and I’m preparing for it, thinking that I’ll be able to set a 2020 record. I can’t promise you, but I’m doing my best by setting a target for 2020,” Rojas said.
Fans dubbed him “Jo Won-dong sexy guy” while watching Rojas unbuttoned his uniform. Cho Won-dong is the location of KT Wiz Park in Suwon. He won many individual titles as he won the 2020 MVP award. He has no desire for individual titles anymore. He wants to present his KBO League title to his fans.
“I’ve had many experiences since 2020. I think I can make good memories and show new sides of me. I want to win the Korean Series because I already won many individual titles,” he said. “KT fans are the best fans of the KBO. They cheered me up a lot when I played in Korea and gave me good words when I was playing in other countries. So I got a lot of support from him. Even after signing a contract with KT, I received a lot of support. My goal is to play healthy throughout the season and lead my team to the championship.”