Catcher Jake Rogers seems to have finally found his hitting stroke this year, which has led to a promotion to Triple-A Toledo. Coming to the Detroit Tigers from Houston in the Justin Verlander deal, he could be a major key to the rebuild if he can keep this up.
Since coming to the Detroit Tigers organization from Houston, Rogers has always seemingly been one crucial piece away from really making a breakthrough in his journey to the big leagues. That one piece being his bat.
Rogers has risen through the ranks in the Tigers’ system as a well-known defensive catcher with a tremendous arm, throwing out 55.6% of base stealers in 2018 with the Double-A Erie Seawolves. He also was the featured catcher in MLB Pipeline’s 2019 All-Defensive Team and is currently ranked #10 among catching prospects with a 65 grade for arm and 70 grade (out of 80) for fielding, according to MLB.com.
In 2018, Rogers posted a meager .219/.305/.412 line. However, he showed a little bit of pop in his bat with 17 home runs. In the Arizona Fall League, he didn’t have to much luck, either, slashing .167/.231/.271 in 13 games.
In his second season in Double-A with Erie, things have been looking as if they are turning around for Rogers at the plate. Through 27 games, he has impressed with a .302/.429/.535 line with 5 homers. The pop is still there and he also has shown tremendous plate discipline with a 16.96% walk rate.
The 24-year-old has also shown some poise and intellect in the batter’s box. In a game on May 4th against the Bowie Baysox, Rogers found the shift playing against him in the seventh inning. With 3 defenders up the middle or to the left of second base, Bowie left only the first basemen on the right side of the infield, so Rogers did what great hitters do.
Rogers punched the ball the other way and hit it where they ain’t. He’s beginning to find ways to get on base while playing terrific defense. If he pans out, this is a win-win for the Tigers.
In his Triple-A debut with Toledo on Tuesday, Rogers went 2-3 with double, HR, walk, two runs scored, and two RBIs. His bat isn’t planning on cooling off anytime soon, which could bode for a call-up to the show come September.