Chicago Cubs prospect Jefferson Rojas continues his meteoric rise in latest ranking

MLB Pipeline listed Jefferson Rojas as the Chicago Cubs prospect making the biggest leap in their ranking of the organization's Top 30 farmhands, placing at #10.

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The Chicago Cubs boast one of MLB's best farm systems burgeoning with Top 100 talent that isn't all that far off from making an impact in the big leagues. What those lists don't necessarily show, however, is the amount of depth present beyond names like Pete Crow-Armstrong, Cade Horton, and Owen Caissie. We've previously discussed a few of the farmhands that experts believe are on the rise, but if you can only buy stock in one young prospect now, it should arguably be 18-year-old shortstop Jefferson Rojas.

Rojas was picked up as part of the Cubs' international signing class in 2022 and initially didn't grab many headlines. Their big picks that year included Top 50 international prospects Adan Sanchez and Alexis Hernandez, with Rojas not making the cut. Yet, he immediately showed promise in the Dominican Summer League, after batting .303/.391/.407 in his first professional season. Since then, his skills have translated stateside in a manner that has put prospect evaluators on high alert.

The latest bit of praise for Rojas comes in the form of MLB Pipeline's ranking of the Cubs' Top 30 prospects which dropped on Tuesday. While the usual names show up near the top of the list, Rojas enjoyed the biggest jump of any Cubs prospect, going from outside the Top 30, to #10, ahead of Ben Brown and Alexander Canario. It's a massive step forward and a huge endorsement of the young shortstop's talent, especially considering he's still only in Single-A.

At Myrtle Beach last year, Rojas had the appearance of an advanced hitter with plenty of plate discipline for his age. His .268/.345/.404 slash line was a respectable performance in his first year stateside and sets a very high floor for him to build on as he fills out. His approach offered a solid mix of contact, a bit of power, and on-base ability in a cooler offensive environment. On top of everything, he boasts one of the best arms in the Cubs farm system at a 60 grade. For those reasons and more, we placed him as the team's eighth-best prospect heading into 2024.

Prospect experts agree that Jefferson Rojas is the real deal

Pipeline clearly loves what Rojas offers at such a young age, but it isn't the only national outlet giving Rojas praise. In his ranking at The Athletic (subscription required), Keith Law went especially aggressive and placed Rojas at the #6 spot, ahead of Caissie, James Triantos, and Jordan Wicks, all guys who have gotten Top 100 consideration. Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and Prospects Live, too, all place Rojas in their top ten.

Rojas has a long way to go and a lot of questions to answer before he reaches the majors with the Cubs, of course. Whether he'll stick at shortstop or grow into more consistent power will be evaluated as he continues rising through the system, but he's performed far beyond what would be expected of a player at his level so far. It's hard to predict prospects so far out from the majors, though. The Yu Darvish trade, for example, showed how long and hard it can be for well-regarded youngsters to blossom.

It's hard not to look at Rojas as the wild card of the Cubs system, though. Even if there's a risk, another strong performance from him this year could send his value into the stratosphere. There are definitely flashier and more immediate prospects to look out for, but experts agree that the sky's the limit for Rojas thanks to his age.

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