Detroit Tigers catching prospect Jake Rogers was promoted to Triple-A Toledo on Monday evening following a torrid start to the season down in Double-A. The 24-year-old backstop hit .302/.429/.535 with five home runs in 112 plate appearances for the SeaWolves before his promotion, and added another homer in his Triple-A debut for good measure.
The bump in competition was certainly deserved. Not only did Rogers hit well to start the season, but he finished with a flourish in 2018, producing an .871 OPS for the SeaWolves after June 1. In basically five months of Double-A action, from June 2018 to early May 2019, Rogers put up an OPS around .900 with 19 home runs. Whatever issues he had in the first two months of 2018 certainly aren’t plaguing him anymore, at least at the Double-A level.
It remains to be seen how much resistance Rogers faces in Triple-A. Many believe the gap between Double- and Triple-A has dwindled over the years, with teams placing more emphasis on development and production at Double-A before a quick stopover at the top of the minors before reaching the majors. There is no specific evidence to back up this claim, but we’ve seen this “double bump” from teams in recent years, including the Tigers — Michael Fulmer and Joe Jimenez only endured brief stays at Toledo before reaching the majors.
Here’s the Question of the Day:
How long should Jake Rogers be at Triple-A Toledo?
My answer: I think a couple of solid months at Triple-A would do Rogers some good, but I would not mind to see him promoted to the majors if he continues to hit well. Not all prospect development is created equal, and Rogers, in particular, seems like one that will need to see actual major league pitching before we really know how good he is going to be. I’m not buying into any service time concerns, because he could very well go back down to the minors at some point and “gain” an extra year of club control.
If he is still hitting, Rogers might also be an upgrade over current starter Grayson Greiner, who might start losing playing time to John Hicks. After starting 19 of the team’s first 27 games in March and April (70 percent), Greiner has started just eight of 13 games in May. This isn’t a huge downturn in playing time — he’s still over 60 percent for the month — but it could get worse if Greiner’s bat stays cold. Since his mini-home run barrage in late April, Greiner has a .360 OPS in his last 10 games. If this skid continues, the Tigers might decide it’s time to look at their catcher-in-waiting later on this summer.
What do you think?
Note: We’re stealing an idea from our friends at Pride of Detroit. Every day, we will post an open-ended question, along with a quick answer, to spark discussion about the Tigers (or other stuff, who knows where this goes?). Use this thread to answer that question, or talk about other stuff — the Tigers, baseball in general, or anything else on your mind.