Position: Left-handed Pitcher
Acquired: 2012 MLB Draft, 5th Round
Ranking History: N/A
After a successful career at Central Florida, the Tigers popped Rogers in the fifth round last summer, signing him for a $211,900 bonus.
He debuted later that summer in the New York-Penn League with a 2.28 ERA in 18 games, working exclusively as a reliever. In 23 2/3 innings, he allowed just 20 hits, walked 12 batters and even struck out 28 opponents.
Rogers doesn't have ideal size but his 6-foot, 200-pound frame boasts plenty of strength, decent athleticism and good coordination. He is a high makeup player that knows his craft and shows a desire to think things through on the mound.
As a reliever, Rogers is primarily a two-pitch guy with his fastball and curveball carrying the load. He has a change-up in his back pocket but rarely threw it as a professional.
Rogers' two-seam fastball works in the 87-89 mph range with good sink and some arm-side movement, making it difficult for hitters to square up. He can run his four-seam a little higher up the velocity scale, working 91-92 mph more consistently and reaching back for 93 mph on occasion.
Rogers' curveball grades out similarly to his fastball, earning average to solid-average marks from scouts. He throws it in the upper-70s with tight overhand spin and good depth. He frequently lacks consistency with the pitch but shows the potential to have it work in the solid-average range as he matures.
Though Rogers has shown a change-up in the past, he rarely used it after signing last summer. He has good arm speed deception and some arm-side movement at times, but the pitch is below-average and needs work overall. How much he works on the pitch going forward will depend on his future role with the organization.
Despite plenty of college experience, Rogers command remains unrefined. He gets loose within the zone and will even have stretches where he struggles to throw strikes. Mechanically, he has a simple delivery and his arm works well, so he should throw quality strikes with both his fastball and curveball.
There are some scouts that would love to see the Tigers develop Rogers as a starter, but that doesn't appear to be in the plans. After impressing out of the bullpen in his debut, there seems to be a push within the organization to keep him in that role with the hope that he can move quickly to the upper levels.
Rogers has the breaking ball necessary to work as a left-on-left reliever and his two-seam fastball has enough natural movement that he may be able to handle right-handers as well. His ceiling tops out as a seventh inning situational reliever but he could arrive at that peak quickly.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP BAA SS-A
Rogers doesn't have a history of injuries but he looked fatigued after a long year in 2012. He will need to alter his conditioning routine to handle the rigors of a long professional season as well as pitching on back-to-back days.
Rogers offers two intriguing pitches from the left side, along with good pitchability and control/command projection. While he has enough stuff to be tried as a starter, the appeal of moving him quickly as a solid late-game reliever is very enticing. With improved control and command, he has a chance to eat up left-handed hitters and play a versatile role in a big-league bullpen.
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