Position: Right Handed Pitcher Height: 6-3 Weight: 190
Born: 7/17/1982 Bats: Right Throws: Left
Brian was the Tigers 11th round choice in the 2003 draft out of Georgia Southern University. Looking at his collegiate statistics, Tiger fans are probably wondering why on Earth someone would ever draft him at all, let alone on the first day. After posting ERAs of 5.10 and 6.12 in his final two years of amateur ball, Rogers joined the Oneonta rotation and turned heads with a 3.34 ERA in 12 professional starts. Rogers parlayed that short-season success into another starting gig with West Michigan in 2004; where he notched a 6-8 record with a 4.55 ERA in 25 starts. Those are certainly not spectacular numbers, but enough to justify the selection the summer before. All opinions of Rogers may have changed in 2005, when he became a reliever exclusively (1 emergency start aside). Working out of the Lakeland bullpen, Rogers logged a 2.08 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and a 3:1 K:BB in 65 innings.
Rogers's collegiate numbers were not the only reason that people may have been scratching their collective heads on draft day. The proud owner of a fastball that tops out in the 85-86 mph range, Brian will have a hard time breaking a pane of glass, let alone blowing his fastball by hitters. None of his offerings grade as anything above average, leaving Rogers to rely on his extremely deceptive delivery to keep hitters off balance. Brian's breaking pitches have moderate movement that gets exaggerated by his delivery. Rogers is an average athlete who somehow repeats his funky mechanics very well. His reasonable athleticism also allows him to field his position well, and remain in good health.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP WHIP A+
Rogers has been free of significant injury so far in his professional career.
The start of the 2006 season is likely to see Brian begin the season as part of the AA-Erie bullpen. This placement will be a true test for Rogers's below-average arsenal and goofy mechanics. Against advanced hitters, it will be much more difficult to rely on the deception of his delivery to induce outs. It is likely Roger's role could become more limited as he moves up through the system. If Rogers is able to remain effective at AA and AAA, it will likely be in a role where he is facing one or two batters per appearance. As a specialty reliever, Rogers won't carry much prospect clout, but he could prove a valuable member of a bullpen down the line. Look for Rogers to be slightly erratic in 2006, but I wouldn't expect him to be overmatched.