Round Rock Express infielder Joshua Rojas is making everyone take notice.
In a lineup that includes top prospect Kyle Tucker, the one stealing the show is currently Joshua Rojas. The infielder has homered in four consecutive games and is looking like he could become a factor for the Astros in the near future.
Rojas hit .322/.405/.561 in 44 games at Double-A Corpus Christi this season before getting promoted to Round Rock. Since then, he’s hit .298/.385/.606 for the Express with 10 doubles, five homers and 19 RBIs in 23 games. He’s also posted solid strikeout-to-walk ratios throughout his minor league career.
The 24-year-old lefthanded hitter was a 26th-round draft pick by the Astros in 2017 out of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He played just 76 combined games at Class-A before reaching the Hooks in 2018, so he’s risen fast and continues to rise. He’s started at least 30 games at first base, second base, third base and left field in his career, with another 16 starts at shortstop.
Time will tell if he can keep it up, but it’s looking like Rojas could be one of those players who flies under the radar and ends up a solid major leaguer.
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It was a quiet week for Kyle Tucker, who’s gone homerless in his last eight games. He’s not mired in a particularly bad slump, as his batting average still sits in the .280s. It’s just tough to set the world on fire all the time.
Corbin Martin started Sunday’s game and only completed four innings, allowing three runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts. He certainly hasn’t been the same since returning to the Express, but there’s plenty of time for the young hurler to figure it out.
Bielak, Perez Shine on Mound
In his five starts for the Express, Brandon Bielak has already seen the ups and downs. He struggled badly through his first three turns in the rotation, with a ghastly 13.11 ERA. Since then, he’s settled in quite nicely.
Bielak took a hard-luck loss on June 17 after giving up just one run in six innings. But he earned his first Triple-A win on Monday, tossing seven scoreless innings with nine strikeouts, allowing just one hit and one walk.
Cionel Perez made his return to the Express by throwing four scoreless innings of relief on Sunday. He allowed just three hits and no walks in that span, though his overall numbers still look rough. He’ll try to keep the momentum going and hope for a return to the Astros.
Ferguson, Jones Stay Hot
Drew Ferguson was named in last week’s report, and he’s continued his hot hitting. In his last nine games, he’s upped his season average from .287 to .318, posting five multi-hit games. He’s also drawn five walks and stolen five bases in that span.
Taylor Jones has posted two or more hits in four of his past seven games and is hitting .324 in his last 10 games. He’s striking out too much but offers a solid righthanded bat to help balance out the Express lineup.
***Statistics courtesy of MiLB.com***