From now until the end of Spring Training, going to look at various players on the Detroit Tigers 40-man roster. We start with catcher Jake Rogers, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery.
Jake Rogers is the last player standing from the Justin Verlander to Houston trade that is still on the Tigers’ roster. The trade brings instant anger to Detroit fans who claim Detroit got nothing in return for Verlander, and they have a legitimate grip. Franklin Perez has yet to pitch a single inning in the majors, and Daz Cameron is now in Baltimore. However, before Rogers went down with his shoulder injury, there were signs of improvement.
The infamous leg kick, the one he had in the minors was gone when he was up in 2021. His swing was cleaner, smoother. The giant leg kick from 2019 was gone.
Rogers’ game is known for his defense. But so far in spring, he’s picking up where he left off in 2021. From June 2021 until his final game on July 18, 2021, Rogers batted .250/.326/.563 with an OPS of .888 (20-for-80) with four doubles and three triples. Moreover, the biggest percentage that went down from 2019 to 2021 was his ground ball rate. It went from 34.9% to 21.4%. The fly ball rate jumped. He was getting the ball in the air more. Heading into Wednesday’s game against the Nationals, Rogers is hitting a robust .500/.545/1.500 (5-for-10) and his three home runs are tied with four other players, including Tigers infielder Andre Lipcius.
Jake Rogers Projections
ZiPS: .198/.281/.374 9HR 29RBI wRC+89
While the ZiPS projections do not favor him, he hit righties at a slightly better clip than his previous call-up in 2019, with power numbers equal on both sides of the plate. If Rogers can get his numbers up on righties, this would allow Hinch to platoon Eric Haase in the outfield if need be.
The handlebar mustache is in full effect. If Rogers can match that mustache energy on offense, Tiger fans can certainly feel better about the trade.
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