Side-Arming Relief Prospect Tyler Rogers

A San Francisco Giants’ prospect I am becoming increasingly intrigued with is Tyler Rogers.  He’s a low side-arm pitcher who throws pretty much nothing but ground balls.  Specifically, he has allowed only seven home runs in 315 career minor league innings pitched, and none this year in 42 innings pitched at AAA Sacramento.

Like most extreme ground ball pitchers, Rogers isn’t likely to stike out a lot of batters at the major league level, and he’s likely to need good and rangy infield defense behind him to be a success at the highest level.  Also, he is already 26 years old.

However, extreme ground ball pitchers often develop relatively late, as they learn to command their stuff consistently low in the strike zone, and Rogers’ current 2.36 ERA is extremely impressive pitching in the Pacific Coast League, an extreme hitters’ league.  Rogers currently leads River Cats’ pitchers in ERA among those who have pitched at least 15 innings so far this season.

Rogers’ minor league progression strongly suggests that he needs time to adjust as he moves up the professional ladder: he pitched poorly in his first brief stints at AA in 2015 and AAA last year, but improved dramatically the next season once he had adjusted to the higher level of play.  This would be a good year for the going-nowhere Giants to get Rogers 20 to 40 innings pitched at the major league level, if only to maximize the possibility that he could help the team in future seasons.

On the subject of San Francisco Giants’ ground ball throwing prospects, the team has another one who also looks almost ready.  D.J. Snelton (he’s 25 this season) started the year at AA Richmond, where he made 15 relief appearances with a 1.66 ERA and earned himself a quick promotion to AAA Sacramento.  After ten relief appearances for the River Cats, he’s got a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 IP.

Snelton has allowed 12 HRs in 325.2 career minor league IP to date, with only two dingers in 36 IP this season.  Not quite as impressive as Rogers, but Snelton looks like he’ll be more of a strikeout pitcher when and if he reaches the major league level.

As major league teams and hitters become ever more enamored with launch angles and home run hitting, and as major league defense continues its inexorable improvement over time, pitchers who can keep the ball in the yard and give their defenders a chance to make a play are becoming more and more valuable.  Snelton was a 9th round draft pick, and Rogers was a 10th round draft pick, because teams are almost always going to draft for stuff first.  Even so, teams are going to draft more extreme ground ball pitchers in the future and draft them higher than they have in the past.

It’s also worth noting that Tyler Rogers’ twin brother Taylor Rogers is already a major league pitcher for the Minnesota Twins.  How appropriate is that?  Although they look an awful lot alike, I’m guessing they are fraternal twins, because Taylor is a lefty, while Tyler throws right.  Also, Tyler is listed as two inches taller.  I will be rooting for both of them going forward.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Minnesota Twins, Minor Leagues, San Francisco Giants

6 Comments on “Side-Arming Relief Prospect Tyler Rogers”

  1. Burly Says:

    30 year old Bryan Morris gave up five earned runs tonight, and he’s given up eight earned runs in his last two innings pitched. Is Tyler Rogers’ time now?

  2. Burly Says:

    Bryan Morris did indeed get sent down today, but the Giants called up lefty Steven Okert to fill Morris’s bullpen spot. Okert had pitched well in Sacramento over the last month after being sent down for a rough start in San Francisco..

  3. Burly Says:

    Tyler Rogers served up his first home run of the season on July 4th. It cost him the ballgame (he’s now 1-3) and raised his ERA to a still fine 2.37.

  4. Burly Says:

    A month after the original post, Tyler Rodgers has a 2.02 AAA ERA and three saves in his last five appearances. Call him up already!

    • Burly Says:

      But D.J. Snelton may get the next call. The obvious candidate for demotion is SF is lefty Steven Okert. Snelton is a lefty, a year younger than Rogers, and is almost as hard to elevate.

      • Burly Says:

        Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s probably have Tyler Rogers high on their radar already.


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