The Astros Address the Thin Catching in Their System With Jake Rogers in the 3rd Round.
The Houston Astros have a weak spot in their pipeline, and it is that they lack a true everyday catcher in the system. Last year, the Astros drafted Anthony Hermelyn in the fifth round and Garrett Stubbs in the eighth round. Of all the catchers in the system, Stubbs appears to be the one who could potentially be an everyday catcher. While it’s still early in Stubbs career, he has already reached Class-A Lancaster.
Stubbs is hitting .306 with six homers and 33 RBI as a Jethawks, so he is making some waves in his first full season in the Astros system, but he now has competition.
The Astros draft Tulane catcher Jake Rogers with the 97th overall pick in the 2016 draft, which is the earliest the Astros have drafted a catcher since they drafted Jason Castro in the first round of the 2008 draft.
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Who is Rogers, he’s a great defensive catcher with an impressive arm, ranking a 60 on MLB Pipeline arm strength ranking. He overall defensive ranking is also ranked as a 65, so he would be a great player behind the plate. However, according to JJ Cooper, he has a “great arm, great defense, iffy bat.”
Roger’s hometown is Canyon Texas, so he is another Texas boy that the Astros have drafted, they drafted Forrest Whitley with the 17th overall pick yesterday. Roger’s hit .261 in 2016 with seven homers and 28 RBIs at Tulane as the everyday catcher. He also has added speed to the mix with 13 steals in 14 attempts.
Talked to his backup catcher at Tulane, Cameron Burns, here is what he said when I asked what type of player he was. “Best catcher in college for sure. If you meet him, he’s awesome to be around. Obviously, everyone knows about his arm, but he’s a great receiver, and was excellent with our pitching staff.” When I asked Burns about Roger’s stolen bases, “he’s got good speed, but he was better at picking really good times to run.
When asked about his bat, Burns said, “His power numbers were way up this year. He hit second a lot for us this year. He’s got good awareness of the strike zone.” Thanks to Burns for the help, good luck with your career as well. If you are looking for a fancy nickname, it is just Rog!
What sets him apart from some of the others is his all-around defensive ability, but he will have to tap into some of his raw power to make it to the big leagues as a catcher. He could be fast-tracked as a backup catcher if needed, but I think the Astros will try to help the bat grow in the minors. Part of the reason that he is so successful throwing out would-be base stealers is his easy transfer from glove to hand according to MLB Pipeline.
What does he need to work on? While he walks often, he could shorten his swing to try to make more contact. Good luck to Rogers, I will try to get him on Talking Stros once he signs officially with the Astros.
***Stats from Tulane University Jake Rogers profile***
***Scouting Report from MLB Pipeline as well as Stubbs’ Stats***