Monday, December 15, 2014

#341 Mel Rojas

About the Front: Under the shade of his cap, we have a good look at Mel Rojas' eyes, which are pointed forward towards the batter, just like his left elbow, knee, and foot.

About the Back: A 5-3 record down the stretch at Burlington? Topps sure knows how to whip prospect hounds into a frenzy.

Triple Play:

1. Rojas is the nephew of the Alou brothers - Matty, Jesus, and his Expos manager Felipe. His cousin, of course, is former Montreal teammate Moises Alou.

2. He saved a career-high 36 games in 1996, posting a 7-4 record and a 3.22 ERA.

3. For the past three years, Mel has been the pitching coach for the Padres' Dominican Summer League club.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I probably would have assumed that Mel was short for Melvin. In fact, it's Melquiades.

Bill James Said: "He had a tough time as a closer and continued to pitch so-so until the break, but posted a 2.04 ERA over the second half, winding up with good stats."

On This Date in 1993: December 15. The White Sox sign Julio Franco to a one-year free agent deal. The 35-year-old will bat .319/.406/.510 with 20 home runs and 98 RBI, winning a Silver Slugger Award, and then jump to Japan for 1995.

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