Prep lefties are one of the strengths of this class and Rogers isn’t far behind MacKenzie Gore and D.L. Hall. Indeed, some observers believe Rogers may have the highest upside of all. Let’s take a quick look.
Obscure a year ago, Rogers emerged as a player to watch last summer during the Area Code Games, intriguing scouts with his 6-6, 190 pound build and 95 MPH fastball. He was otherwise rather raw, but tall projectable lefties who already throw hard are a hot commodity.
Rogers has been inconsistent this spring (more on that below) and has settled in behind Gore and Hall on most charts, but he still has a chance to go quite early.
Born November 13th, 1997, Rogers is a left-handed hitter and thrower. He is committed to Texas Tech for baseball but should be signable if selected where his talent warrants.
At his best Rogers features a 93-95 MPH fastball with more velocity possible as he matures physically and fills out his body. He doesn’t work hard to get the velocity, further evidence that he may have more gas in the tank down the line. The low-effort delivery is also a positive factor when projecting his health and durability.
His second pitch is a sweeping breaking ball described as either a slider or a hard curve depending on the source. This pitch is inconsistent but could be/should be a plus pitch in time. He hasn’t needed a change-up much against weak local competition but it has looked workable when he’s brought it out. The pitch could be at least average eventually.
Rogers’ control is actually quite solid considering his background although his command within the strike zone could use some tightening. He has the physical upside to be a dominant starter.
Reports on Rogers’ velocity vary this spring: some observers report velocity dips down to 88-89 MPH with the fastball, while others have seen him up to 94-95 as he was last summer. The secondary pitches need more polish and he’s already 19 years old, although the age factor is less relevant for high school pitchers than it is for hitters.
Scouts don’t have the same long track record with him as they do with Gore or Hall, leading to a bit more uncertainty. As with any young pitcher, there’s always a significant risk of injury.
Rogers’ weaknesses as a prospect are those of inexperience and should be correctable with pro coaching, while his strengths are hard to find. There was some talk of him as a darkhorse top 10 candidate back in February but right now he looks more like a mid-first rounder. He’ll need patient development but the upside is undeniable.
Fangraphs video from last summer
Recent video from Chris S. Eaton