SF Giants Post-Prospect Prospects:
#4 RHP Tyler Rogers
Acquired: Draft (2013, 10th round)
Future Value: 40
Career MLB Stats: 37 G, 37 IP, 3.65 ERA, 2.87 FIP, 1.5 BB/9, 8.5 K/9
It is perhaps an inopportune time to release a ranking filled with relief pitchers with the two highest-ranked pitchers coming off terrible outings. However, we are approaching a full-season sample on Tyler Rogers since his 2019 callup. It obviously doesn’t look how anyone expects, but it clearly gets the job done.
Chad Bradford is really the only reasonable comp for Rogers’ underwhelming pitch mix and extreme submarine motion. Even then, it seems overly simplistic to make that comparison.
Rogers works almost entirely off of a fastball and slider that while not overpowering in a traditional sense, generate such unique spin and movement that hitters have struggled to ever adjust their swings. Hitting is a game of anticipation and it’s hard to undo the habits created by thousands of plate appearances against over-the-top pitchers delivering mid-90s fastballs and sliders that break down and away from their arm side. Rogers does none of those things.
Perhaps there’s reason to be concerned that Rogers is too reliant on deception to sustain success. Hitters can make adjustments. But he’s so unique it’s hard to imagine too many players dedicating the time to figure out one guy so unlike anyone else.
Since he relies so much on deception, the traditional platoon splits for submariners aren’t an issue for Rogers either. In his entire minor-league career, there haven’t been any concerning trends against left-handed hitters.
Rogers is a baseball enigma. His fastball averages about 83 mph and that doesn’t seem to be a problem. He doesn’t just avoid hard-contact, he’s also struck out nearly a batter an inning for a pretty decent sample at this point. While even I was hesitant to buy-into high-leverage upside, Rogers is capable of inducing soft-contact and punching guys out. If he had Coonrod’s stuff we wouldn’t even question the results, but that’s the nature of being unique. No one knows what to expect.
He’s always shown good command, never allowing many free passes in his entire minor-league career and that’s carried over to the big-league level as well. At a minimum, he should have a future as a middle reliever, but who knows what his true upside is.
It’s also worth noting he worked a number of multi-inning outings in the upper minors and has never dealt with any severe injuries. If the Giants wanted to get creative, they might try to extend Rogers for 2-3 inning outings as an opener or bridge.