Jake Rogers, C, Triple-A in 2019
The last piece of the Verlander trade is Jake Rogers, who has since seen his debut in the big leagues come and go but will most likely begin 2020 with the Triple-A Toledo roster. Rogers was drafted back in the 2016 draft by the Astros out of Tulane University. In 2017, he would get sent over the Detroit Tigers, where he would begin his ascent to the big leagues.
The 6-foot-1 catcher weighs in at 205-pounds for the Tigers and has been using his incredible defense to help him rise to the big leagues. In 2019, Rogers started with the Double-A Erie, where he played twenty-eight games, hitting .302/.429/.,535 with five home runs, and twenty-one RBI for the Seawolves.
He would get promoted to Triple-A, where he would play in forty-eight games, hitting .223/.321/.458 with nine home runs and thirty-one RBI on the season. Rogers would then make his big league debut later in 2019, spending thirty-five games with the big league club.
He would hit .215/.222/.259 with four home runs and eight RBI for the Tigers, which was not great, but his defense is what has carried him. Rogers made some adjustments, which leaves him with a big leg kick, and low hands-on his load, which has seemingly helped him develop his hitting, but the tool is still far behind his fielding.
Being twenty-four years old, Rogers is relying on his defense to help him make a name for himself in the big leagues. Rogers threw out 67% of runners at the Double-A level, 47% at the Triple-A level, and 39% at the big league level in 2019. His ability to throw runners out, backpick runners, block, and call games are what makes him a valuable prospect to this Tigers team, but his bat is lacking.
MLB Expectation: Going into 2020 Spring Training, Rogers is most likely going to find himself heading back to Triple-A Toledo to work on his hitting and fine-tune things to be able to excel in the big leagues. Rogers has the defensive tools to excel in the big leagues right now, but the hitting still needs to come around. If the hit tool develops, he projects to be the backstop for the future of the Detroit Tigers organization with stellar defense and a bat that should keep him afloat.