Former first-round pick Trevor Rogers ranked second in the Florida State League with 122 strikeouts in 2019.
With all the excitement focusing on the glut of traded-for prospects in the last two years, sometimes it’s easy to overlook some of the Miami Marlins “home grown” talent still in the system. In the top 30 of the Marlins system, 10 have been acquired via trade, including four of the top five and five of the top 10.
Trevor J’Daniel Rogers was drafted in the first round of the 2017 MLB Amateur Entry Draft, with the 13th overall choice out of Carlsbad High School. A 6’6″, 185 lb. left-handed strikeout specialist, Rogers was born on November 13th, 1997 in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Only one Carlsbad native has ever advanced to the major leagues, pitcher Jimmy Freeman with the 1972 and 1973 Atlanta Braves.
Players taken 13th overall, however, enjoy a 52 percent success rate at reaching the bigs. The prolific group is led by Manny Ramirez (1991, Cleveland Indians, 69.4 career WAR), Frank Tanana (1971, California Angels, 57.1 WAR), and Chris Sale (2010, Chicago White Sox, 45.3 WAR).
The ceiling is high for the still 21-year-old Rogers, currently ranked as the Miami Marlins number eight overall. According to the MLB Pipeline:
"Rogers has plenty of raw talent but is only scratching the surface of his potential. He throws strikes but will have to refine the rest of his repertoire to keep hitters off his fastball. He has a chance to become a mid-rotation starter but will need plenty of development time to get there."
Rogers did not make his professional debut until 10 months after his selection, starting with the middle-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League. A 2-7 record and a substandard 5.82 ERA over 17 starts later, Rogers was dropped from the Miami Marlins first-ranked prospect down to eighth. Still, Rogers’ tools were evident. He got 85 strikeouts over 72 2/3 innings, a K-rate of 10.53 per nine innings.
Prior to the 2019 season, the Marlins invited Rogers to their “Captains Camp.”
Whatever the case, the Miami Marlins saw enough of Rogers at the middle-A level to promote him to the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League to start the 2019 season. Rogers’ 122 strikeouts in 110 innings of work, spread over 17 starts, equated to a 9.90 K/9 rate. Rogers ranked five behind the league leader on the season-end leaderboard despite getting called up to the double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League in early August. Over his last eight starts for the Hammerheads, Rogers struck out 66 in 53 2/3 innings while holding opposing batters to a .169 average. He was 4-2 over that time, with a 1.68 ERA and a 70 percent strike rate.
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Rogers made another five starts with the Shrimp, going 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA and 28 K’s in 26 frames to close out the 2019 season. All-in-all, a rousing success for the young southpaw.
Look for Rogers to start the 2020 season with the Jumbo Shrimp, and for him to split his year between the double-A club and the triple-A Wichita affiliate in some fashion. Although not quite a lock to start 2021 in the Miami Marlins rotation, I would be surprised not to see him at the major league level at some point during that season.
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