The early returns on the Detroit Tigers’ trade of Justin Verlander appear to be brighter by the day.
The Tigers dealt their longtime ace in a late-night blockbuster to the Houston Astros. Verlander helped the Astros win a World Series. And, in turn, the Astros have helped replenish the Tigers farm system.
Right-hander Franklin Perez is considered the Tigers’ No. 1 prospect, while outfielder Daz Cameron was named last month as a potential breakout prospect for 2018 by MLB.com. Now, the third prospect acquired from Houston, catcher Jake Rogers, has earned a spot on MLB Pipeline’s All-Defense team.
“Some scouts considered him the best defender in the entire 2016 Draft, when he went in the third round to the Astros ...” MLB.com’s Jim Callis writes. “Rogers erased 46 percent of basestealers in his first full pro season, enhancing solid arm strength with a lightning-fast transfer and impressive accuracy. His agility and soft hands also make him an outstanding receiver and blocker who excels at framing pitches.”
Callis quotes an annamed assistant general manager with an American League team, who says Rogers’ “defense is so slick. He has more of a 55 arm (on the 20-80 scouting scale) but it’s so quick and accurate. He has such a pretty release.”
Rogers, 22, hit .261 with an .817 OPS, with 18 home runs and 70 RBIs over three minor-league stops at the Class A level last season.