The Mets acted quickly to move on from the short-lived Carlos Beltran tenure, hiring Luis Rojas as their new manager on Wednesday, per multiple reports.
After the failed stint of Beltran —which lasted only three months— and a disappointing two-year spell under Mickey Callaway, the hiring of Rojas obviously comes with a grain of salt.
The 38-year-old is the second-youngest manager in the majors behind Minnesota Twins skipper Rocco Baldelli. It’s his first major-league managing gig which at the surface, might not instill much confidence for a young team that is on the cusp of contention.
The right leadership is vital for the development of a winning culture in Queens, especially for a team that has a multitude of young centerpieces ranging from Pete Alonso to Jeff McNeil, to Amed Rosario, to Michael Conforto, and even JD Davis.
However, Rojas knows the inner workings of this organization as well as anyone.
He has worked his way up from the very bottom of the organization beginning in 2006.
In 2011, Rojas got his first job managing in the Mets’ system with their Rookie-ball affiliate in Port St. Lucie.
He was promoted to single-A Savannah in 2012 where he spent three seasons. Rojas won the South Atlantic League championship in 2013 with the Sand Gnats and was named the South Atlantic League Manager of the Year the following season.
From Savannah, Rojas moved back to Port St. Lucie to manage to single-A Mets. In two seasons from 2015-2016, he led St. Lucie to a second-half Florida State League South Division for their first playoff appearance in four years.
During that time, he also led Leones del Escogido to a Dominican Winter League championship in 2015-16 as team manager.
It allowed him to make the jump to double-A in 2017 where he managed the Binghamton Rumble Ponies for two seasons, including one playoff berth before joining the major-league club as a quality control coach.
His role with the Mets allowed him to serve as a middle man between the dugout and the front office, suggesting he has a great relationship with general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
Rojas’ new (and some old) players and personnel seem thrilled at the news, too.
Here is what some of them had to say about the Mets’ new hire:
“He has literally trained his whole life to be a manager,” Van Wagenen said. “He comes from a legacy family. … He is respected by the players. He is trusted by the players. And he’s someone that we have great confidence in, [with] his ability to lead our team now.” –Brodie Van Wagenen, Mets GM (h/t Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)
“Congrats to Luis Rojas on becoming the next manager of the Mets!! You are more than ready young man. It was pleasure coaching with you!! Wishing you nothing but the best going forward. Take care of our boys!!”-Frank Viola, former Mets pitcher, Binghamton pitching coach under Rojas
“He has a winning pedigree, leading teams to the playoffs when he was in the minor leagues, leads by example and he’s jacked. He gets after it in the weight room.” –Noah Syndergaard, Mets pitcher (h/t Mike Puma, New York Post)
“LUIS ROJAS! Love, love, love it. Loved being around him on the bench last year. Always teaching and full of knowledge. Super laid back and brings nothing but great vibes each and every day. Beyond even keel. Excited even more for the year!” –Marcus Stroman, Mets pitcher
“Loved having Luis in ‘17 and ‘18 as my AA manager! It’s awesome playing under him and having him on staff last year as well!!! Super pumped to have him as the Jeffe. Also, he throws some damn good bp.” –Pete Alonso, Mets 1B
“When I met Luis Rojas in 2008 he was driving vans for minor leaguers from the hotel to the field in spring training. Whether you like the hire or not, he started from the actual bottom and did everything asked of him the whole way. Amazing journey to get this opportunity.” –Josh Satin, former Mets infielder