When we’re talking about who’s a better bench candidate, Sellers, or Rojas it’s hard to quantify. I mean neither of them can hit at all, so comparing their terrible batting skills doesn’t do much good. They can’t hit, nor can they get on base. So the fairest way to compare them would be to take a look at their defense and utility skills.
Justin Sellers has always been a strong defensive player. A glove first player, as some people like to say. He can play three of the four infield positions with relative ease. He’s a slick fielder. He’s had 187 chances at shortstop and made just five errors in the bigs. In the majors he has a career +10 total zone fielding runs above average at shortstop, and he’s saved an average of four runs per season at the shortstop position.
He’s just as competent at the other positions. At second base he’s posted career marks of +3 runs above average, and +3 defensive runs saved. At third base he’s a +56 runs above average. He’s made just five career errors in 260 total chances.
Miguel Rojas is a good defensive player as well. But he’s never played in the majors. He’s posted a career +16 mark at shortstop. In 2,969 chances in the minors, Rojas has made just 100 errors. That’s pretty solid. Rojas can also play three of the four infield positions as well.
But what about range? Who’s got the better range? That would probably go to Rojas. His career range factor per game at shortstop is 4.34, while Seller’s range factor at short is 3.64. But that doesn’t take into account for range factor per nine innings. For Sellers that’s a career 4.07, which is much higher than his career mark per game. Seller’s range factor per nine at second base is 4.65.
If you look at Seller’s minor league defensive numbers, they’re just as good as Rojas’s, maybe even better. His range factor per game at short was 4.52, and 4.83 at second base. His runs saved above average was a +26 at short, and a +5 at second base.
Both players have a steady glove, with Rojas getting the slight nod in the range category. Maybe if this was just about who’s a better shortstop, then maybe we could give the nod to Rojas. A slight nod because of better range, but still the nod none the less. Keep in mind I’ve never seen Rojas play, and have seen Sellers play many times.
As for their utility, both have about the same. Sellers has played three of the four infield positions at second, third and short. Rojas has the same. Although Sellers has played more games at second and third, then Rojas has played. Rojas has played just 42 games at second base, and 24 at third.
My nod would go to Sellers based on his MLB experience. It may not be much, but he does have at least some big league experience. Sellers has the better utility anyways. Rojas is mostly just a shortstop with a small amount of playing time at second and third. While Sellers has more of a balanced utility across the three infield positions.
So you have two players, both are defensive specialists with poor on base skills, limp bats, and no power. Which one would you choose? The lesser of two evils is always a better choice. My vote goes to Sellblock.