Rogowski's Running Well In California

It's common for players to set personal goals before the start of a season. Ryan Rogowski had two. First, he wanted to skip playing for Great Lakes and make the Inland Empire roster. Second, he wanted to steal 40 bases.

Not playing for Great Lakes would mean he'd miss a chance to perform in front of the home folks but he'd forgo that. Rogowski is a Michigan native and was quite the athlete for Central Catholic High back in Detroit where he played on a state championship football team, won the 189-pound state wrestling title, and played on the baseball team was the state runner-up.

But he'd forsaken his native state before, giving up a chance to play baseball for the University of Michigan for junior college ball and winding up at Big Ten rival Illinois.

Although he played well for the Illini, no one drafted him but after he won the MVP award in the summer Northwoods League, big league teams came calling and the Dodgers were the ones that got him to sign a contract.

That was in 2005. A good part of the reason he was the Northwoods MVP was the fact that he set the league record in stolen bases for running the basepaths is something that Rogowski has always done very well. He proceeded to further demonstrate that this past season when he tied for the organizational lead in swiped bases with 30 which matched Adam Godwin's total for Columbus.

You'll note that Godwin collected his for a full season team while Rogowski managed his total while playing for a short season club for he was with Ogden. He also hit .312 for the Raptors and was named the team MVP here, too by our companion publication Dodger Dugout.

Rogowski might well feel that time's awastin' since he turned 23 in January hence his desire to not go home again but rather be challenged more in the California League. Here he's not hitting as well (currently batting .258) but he's been pilfering bases at an even better clip, having stolen 29 in 35 attempts. So, he's just shy of last year and that 40 total would seem well within his grasp.

Rogowski's not the fastest guy in the organization but he certainly ranks in the top 10. And there may be none better in knowing when to go and how to get a good jump.

He's the type of hitter that will bat leadoff as he did for Ogden or in the number two hole, which he's currently doing for the 66ers. He has gap power with 23 doubles thus far. Occasionally one will fly out and so far he has three homer runs.

Rogowski is very competent in the field as well so he's an all-around player that should challenge for a job with Jacksonville in the future.

Right now, though, he's glad to be in California which means he's accomplished one goal and as for that other, someone suggested that he try for 50.

"That sounds good to me," he quipped. It also sounds realistic.

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