Rogers was the Astros’ third-rounder in 2016, getting to High-A with Houston before being one of the prospects dealt to Detroit at the 2017 deadline in the Justin Verlander trade. He has been with Double-A Erie all year, where his strengths (defense, drawing walks, occasional power) and weaknesses (strikeouts, hitting for average) have both been on display.
There’s strength throughout his 6’1’’ and 190-pound frame, with a durable lower half that can withstand the rigors of catching. Defense has long been Rogers’ calling card, and his glovework behind the plate is what defines most of his future big league value. He’s an incredibly polished receiver and game-caller, setting low and quiet targets with soft hands to frame. His footwork is sound and he blocks well, and an above-average arm plays up a tick because of a quick release and good accuracy. At the plate, Rogers’ game is about getting on base and running into mistakes, not taking a short swing and using all fields. He takes a stiff uppercut that crushes mistakes but doesn’t adjust the bat well, and Rogers’ pure batspeed through the zone is limited. He was consistently beaten with fastballs upstairs and down/away throughout my three-game look, struggling to use the other field. Rogers can cheat to pull a fastball with power, but there will always be strikeouts and he’s unlikely to ever hit for much average. He buoys these tendencies to some degree with a polished approach, frequently drawing walks and working himself into fastball counts.
If he can provide enough value with the bat, Rogers defense at catcher is more than enough for a future everyday regular in the big leagues. Even if he’s never more than a .230-type hitter, there will be a spot for him if he can run into 15-18 homeruns over a full season. He will need to start figuring things out at the plate to reach that ceiling however, as Rogers has really struggled against Double-A pitching this year. At the very least, his defensive ability at catcher will get him to the big leagues as a defensive-minded reserve.