Coming into the 2012 season, there were two things most people knew about Chad Rogers: He was once bitten by a shark and that he was a solid relief prospect. After 2012 he was still once bitten by a shark, but he was now an intriguing pitching prospect with a chance to start.

The Reds sent Rogers to Bakersfield and the starting rotation for the Blaze. He made his first start of the year in the second game of the season. He lasted just 2.2 innings without allowing a run, walking three and striking out two batters. Over the final four starts of the month he would last at least 5 innings for each, throwing 21.1 innings to finish out April with 24 inning, just 5 walks and he struck out 22 batters. Rogers didn’t walk a batter in his final three starts of the month.His ERA stood at 2.63 as the calendar flipped.

April was a strong start to the season and May, in some senses, kept it rolling forward. In his first start of May he walked 3 batters in four innings, but didn’t allow a run. In the next start on the 10th the right hander threw 8 shutout innings with a walk and 3 strikeouts. He would go on to finish up May with 5 starts combining for 30.2 innings, a 1.01 WHIP, 1.76 ERA, 8 walks and 16 strikeouts. The strikeout rate was a tad low, but he began to show some stamina and was still showing off good control.

June started off strong with three starts combining for 18.2 innings, 17 strikeouts and just one walk before the workload for Rogers began to be slowed down some as he was limited to just 12 innings over his next three starts. He finished the month with 30.2 innings pitched, a 1.30 WHIP, 3.52 ERA with 6 walks and 23 strikeouts. Once again Rogers showed off strong control and was able to post a strong ERA.

July was an up and down month for Rogers, his first real struggles of the season. He posted a 4.50 ERA on the month with a 1.62 WHIP. His walk rate was high as he walked 10 hitters in 26 innings, though half of those came in a 5 inning shutout performance. He struck out 27 on the month, his season high for any month. The highest walk and strikeout rates of the year led to the highest WHIP and ERA month totals.

August got off to a good start for Rogers as he was promoted to Double-A Pensacola to pitch for the Blue Wahoos. Things went well for Rogers in his 6 starts to end the season. In August and one start in September Rogers combined for 31.2 innings with a 1.99 ERA and 1.04 WHIP for Pensacola while striking out 23 batters and walking just 6.

Tm W L IP H HR BB SO ERA WHIP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
Bakersfield 6 4 111.1 113 11 29 88 3.15 1.28 2.3 7.1 3.0
Pensacola 3 1 31.2 27 3 6 23 1.99 1.04 1.7 6.5 3.8
Total 9 5 143.0 140 14 35 111 2.90 1.22 2.2 7.0 3.2

Overall Thoughts

Chad Rogers lifted his prospect value quite a bit with his 2012 campaign. While there are still questions about whether or not he can remain as a starter due to a lack of a third pitch, developing a change up has generally been easier than developing a breaking ball. If Rogers winds up in the bullpen, his fastball and slider combination will play very well and if his step forward in the control department can stay with that move, he could be a very valuable reliever as well.

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21 Responses

  1. wanderinredsfan

    His stats don’t reflect it, but he sure seems like a fly-ball pitcher to me. Whenever he keeps the ball up it’s really scary, but I do think he has enough control to limit the damage. Looks like he may be working on a cutter, too.

    What type of velocity do you think his FB will play out of the pen? If he can’t touch 94 or so, I’d just stay with him in a starting role and give him time to become a decent back-end of the rotation type of starter.

    • Doug Gray

      When he was in Dayton’s bullpen he was 92-95 and touched 96.

  2. sultan of swaff

    Seems to me if he can eek enough movement out of a 2 seam fastball, hitters will have a tough time squaring it up when used in combination with what looks to be a plus slider. I see him as a reliever, but there’s no harm in keeping him as a starter for now simply to get more innings and learn the art of pitching.

  3. MK

    I was surprised by a scout who told me they thought Chad had a higher upside than Daniel Corcino as a starting pitcher. He also said this was the belief of many of his brethren he had talked to about it.

    I was a little surprised to Logan Ondrusek got a 2-year deal since he was a guy demoted and not available for the post season last year. I thought he might be the odd-man out this spring.

    • Stock

      Ondrusek’s deal makes you wonder if Hoover will start the year in AAA. Since Hoover was a top 10 prospect in Atlanta as a SP I wonder if the Reds would consider moving him back to the rotation. That said with Corcino, Cingrani, Stephenson, Lotzkar, Langfield, Rogers and others they probably don’t really need SP, especially if they extend Latos and/or Bailey in the next month.

      Come next October this may be considered an extremely pitching deep farm system. Hopefully we will have 7-10 future SP in the system and 2-3 potential 1’s or 2’s.

      • mace

        Was Hoover in the same mix with Medlen, Beachy and Minor? If so, does anyone know how he ranked (as a starter) compared to those guys?

      • Stock

        Medlen has been in the majors for a several years but in Sickels’ 2011 Atlanta top 20 prospect report he said this:

        http://www.minorleagueball.com/2010/10/21/1765857/atlanta-braves-top-20-prospects-for-2011

        3) Mike Minor, LHP, Grade A-: Borderline B+. I think he can be a number two starter. Right on the edge between those two grades for me.

        9) Brandon Beachy, RHP, Grade B-: Finished product, can be a number four starter or a very good reliever.

        10) J.J. Hoover, RHP, Grade B-: I’ve been a big Hoover supporter since he was in junior college. I think he can be a durable inning-eater.

        In the 2012 prospect report Sickels said:

        http://www.minorleagueball.com/2011/10/12/2485724/atlanta-braves-top-20-prospects-for-2012

        7) J.J. Hoover, RHP, Grade B-: Borderline B. He’s been a favorite of mine for three years. I think he would be a very good number three/four starter, but they seem to prefer him in the bullpen.

        In his 2009 Atlanta prospect analysis he said this about Medlen:

        http://www.minorleagueball.com/2008/10/23/641522/atlanta-braves-top-20-pros

        9) Kris Medlen, RHP, Grade B-: Am I overrating him? Looks like he could be a really good swingman.

        It seems to me that Hoover is a better prospect than Medlen was and about the same as Beachy. That is not to say he will be as good as those two have been. In fact I would be surprised if Medlen was as good as he was last year.

        One big difference between Medlen and Hoover was that Hoover threw 2 pitches over 10% of the time. Medlen (as a RP) threw 3 more than 15% of the time. The difference between Hoover’s FB and his changeup is only 7 mph. For Medlen it is 10 mph.

      • mace

        Thanks, Stock. Nice report. I too like Hoover in the bullpen, but if it’s crowded there, he would be an intriguing guy for a shot in the rotation. I’ve thought the same of Ondrusek, although he was not particularly successful as a starter in the minors.

  4. Stock

    I read in several places last summer that some scouts consider him a better prospect than Corcino. I wonder if that is because they don’t think much of Corcino or think highly of Rogers. Is his ceiling Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake or Logan Ondrusek? I do think that whatever the correct answer is that there is a great chance that Rogers will contribute on the major league level.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t see Corcino as a worse prospect than Rogers. Corcino has more velocity, a real nice slider of his own and a third pitch. Not sure how you could really formulate a good argument for Rogers there. Without a third pitch, tough to say Rogers has a higher ceiling than Leake or Arroyo, but if he develops even an average change up, yes, it is.

      • BullDog

        I guess you guys have never actually been to a game where Chad Rogers pitched…he has 3 solid pitches, FB, slider, and change up…he is working on his cutter for a fourth…the reason it is hard to distinguish his change up is his motion to the plate does not change from his FB.

  5. Krozley

    Chris Manno is on Spain’s WBC roster. Reds minor league free agent signings Loek Van Mil (Netherlands with Sulbaran) and Mark Chang (China) are also participating.

      • wanderinredsfan

        Nederlands is loaded with middle infielders (Profar, Bogaerts, Simmons), so I’m not that surprised. Especially so, considering that he might be dissuaded from participating in the WBC, while being advised towards focusing on the starting job for the Dbacks.

        I’m more surprised that Kenly Jansen isn’t in the Nederlands’ bullpen.

        And pretty shocked that Choo isn’t with the Korean team.

  6. hunr4redsoct

    Leaving for Reds. Fantasy camp in the AM. Will let you know if any prospects are in Goodyear or any news from the various coaches that are involved, Browning, Power, Griffey

  7. The Duke

    I think Rogers could be a quality backend rotation pitcher, but given the Reds pitching depth right now, he seems much more likely for the pen.

  8. DaveCT

    I wonder if the projection of Rogers over Corcino had to do with height/body type.

  9. MJ

    Saw him pitch twice in Pensacola. Third pitch is a change-up about the same velocity as his slider, which I clocked from 84-86 mph.