Rogowski Off and Running At Ogden

Manager Lance Parrish has a collection of pretty good outfielders at Ogden. There's Matt Berezay, Jeremy Brown, Scott Van Slyke, and Tommy Giles, not to mention Carlos Santana, who also fits in at third base. So, he has to do a bit of lineup shuffling everyday in order to get them all enough action.

There's one guy, though, that he gets in there pretty much all the time. That's Ryan Rogowski and he does it right at the start for he's proved to be an invaluable leadoff man. Maybe the MVP of the team, for that matter.

Leadoff men as we all know have to have the ability to get on somehow, some way and then it's nice if they show some speed after they do it. Rogowski has qualified in a big way for the Raptors. As of Tuesday's games, he's played in 55 in which he's collected 62 hits and 40 walks. That averages out to a .302 batting mark and, most importantly, a .420 on-base percentage.

And when he arrives at first, does he go? Often and usually successfully. So far, he's attempted 25 steals and made it 22 times. And that's an even better percentage. Oh, and he's not at all bad in the power department, too, as five triples and four homers illustrate.

That Rogowski is an exceptional athlete, he demonstrated back in his high school days at Central Catholic in Redford, Mich. There he earned All-State honors in football where he was a running back and linebacker and baseball as well as the state championship at 189 pounds in wrestling. Quite naturally, he had his choice of sports to select from when colleges came calling.

He wasn't interested in wrestling "Too much work" and finally put football aside for baseball. He was slated to go to the University of Michigan but a change in coaches cancelled that so he wound up at John A. Logan Junior College in Illinois. There, he played well enough that the University of Illinois beckoned so he wound up in the Big Ten anyway.

As a junior he had quite a season for the Illini, hitting .374 and stealing 31 bases. Big league teams were talking to him, indicating their interest in drafting him but his phone didn't ring this time. So, he headed for the collegiate Northwoods League which he quite simply tore apart.

He hit .346, led the league in hits, runs and triples and, quite naturally, was running wild again with a league record 44 stolen bases. He wound up winning The MVP award. By now, several clubs were pursuing him with the Dodgers' Gerric Waller winning the race to sign him as a free agent.

Obviously, it's been a profitable association for both. If he keeps on at the rate he's going,. he could well play his way into the ranks of the better outfield prospects the organization employs. His rookie year marks him as one more strong example of the fact that Dodger scouts keep searching and finding good ones even after the draft is over.

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