Wednesday, May 29, 2024
AnalysisMiami MarlinsMLBNational LeagueNL East

Trevor Rogers Could be a Dark Horse NL ROY Candidate

Source: Joseph Guzy/Miami Marlins

At face value, Trevor Rogers‘ 2020 season was nothing to brag about. Ranked as the Marlins’ 9th best prospect by MLB pipeline, Rogers received his first major league call-up in August and finished the season with a poor 6.11 ERA through 28.0 innings. The Marlins qualified for the postseason, where Rogers’ struggles continued as he gave up two earned runs in 1.2 innings. While his ERA was bad, Trevor Rogers showed plenty to be hopeful about, and I think he could have a breakout season in 2021.

Rogers was the Marlins’ first round (13th overall) pick in the 2017 MLB draft. Rogers made his minor league debut during the 2018 season at the Single A level, where he finished with a 5.82 ERA and a 3.04 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) in 72.2 innings. Everything seemed to come together for Rogers in 2019, where he earned a 2.53 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 110.1 innings in High-A, earning him a late promotion to AA. Throughout his minor and major league career, Rogers’ 2019 season in High-A was the only time he outperformed his peripheral stats, such as FIP. This trend continued into Rogers’ 2020 season with Miami.

ERAFIPxFIPSIERAxERApCRADRApERA
Trevor Rogers6.114.333.673.863.493.553.474.10

Of the seven ERA predictors/expected stats I have listed above (including pERA, which can be found on the Max’s Sporting Studio Leaderboards), each of them suggests that Rogers was better during the 2020 season than his ERA. In fact, all of them except FIP are at least 2.00 runs below his 6.11 ERA. These disparities show that Rogers dealt with a lot of bad luck during the 2020 season. Let’s dive into what exactly went right, and what went wrong for Trevor Rogers in 2020.

Source: Baseball Savant

One of Rogers’ strengths is his strikeout rates. His K/9 of 12.54 in 2020 ranked him seventh among starting pitchers. A strikeout rate this high is certainly an outlier, considering his average K/9 in the minor leagues is around 10.00, which is still very good. While Rogers’ K% was great, his BB% doesn’t share the same praise. In 2020 Rogers had a poor walk rate of 10.0%, which is also up from his minor league average. His pBB% of 9.1% isn’t great either, and both put him below league average in those stats. Rogers’ control is room for concern, but at 23 years of age, he certainly has enough time to improve in this department. While his K% and BB% saw major increases from his minor league average, his K-BB% of 20.0% was mostly in line with his minor league stats, showing some level of consistency. I would expect his walk rate to improve during the 2021 season, while his strikeout rate will likely be more in line with his minor league numbers.

Source: Baseball Savant

Rogers has four pitches in his arsenal, throwing his 4-Seam Fastball most frequently. His 4-seamer had a healthy Zone% of 59.1% in 2020, but his command could be better.

Source: Baseball Savant

Mistakes like the one shown above have proven to be costly for Rogers, and have inflated his 4-Seamer’s Barrel% to 9.4%. His 4-Seam fastball certainly has the stuff to be a valuable pitch, considering it averages a velocity of 93.6 mph, and moves 6.1 inches above average horizontally. When his fastball is on target though, Trevor Rogers is a tough pitcher to beat.

Rogers strikes out Acuna with a 4-Seam fastball.

Rogers’ changeup was his best-performing pitch during the 2020 season, as it had an elite .203 xwOBA against. The changeup was Trevor Rogers’ only pitch that had above-average vertical movement with 5.2 inches above average. His changeup was elite in inducing ground balls with a 73.7% ground ball rate. As a result of his high GB%, Rogers’ changeup did not yield a single Barrel despite having a Hard hit% of 42.1%. The changeup was also very good at missing bats in 2020 with a Whiff% of 35.3%. His changeup appears to be an excellent pitch that will prove to be valuable down the line. Despite the success it had, Rogers only threw changeups 18.1% of the time. The tall lefty will see better results in 2021 if he can start throwing his better-performing pitches more often.

Rogers strikes out Ozuna with a changeup

Conclusion

Do I think Trevor Rogers will be a finalist for the NL rookie of the year? No, but I do think he has a chance. Rogers showed much to be hopeful for in 2020, and has the potential to be a serviceable pitcher for the Marlins. As far as 2021 projections go, I think he has a floor of about a 5.02 ERA with 99 strikeouts in 94.0 innings with a ceiling of a 3.77 ERA with 200 strikeouts in 180 innings.

Fantasy Outlook

In redraft leagues, I would not target Trevor Rogers. He’s certainly more of a “wait and see” kind of player, especially since he isn’t guaranteed a spot in the Marlins’ rotation on opening day. With an ADP of 452 according to Fantasypros, unless you’re in a very deep league, he will likely go undrafted. In dynasty leagues, I think he should be rostered in moderately deep leagues, as he could be a good contributor for a fantasy team within the next couple of seasons.

Owen Daley

Rookie writer for Max's Sporting Studio. Pirates fan, but nowadays I enjoy watching other teams