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Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
Posted by Herb Ilk at 5/30/2006 12:30:00 PM
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Minor leaguer Mark Rogers is currently on pace to do something that I find rather bizarre. Rogers currently is the most unhittable and the most hittable pitcher in the Florida State League (high Single-A).

First, some background on Rogers. He was the fifth overall selection in the 2004 MLB draft to the Milwaukee Brewers. He was the first high school pitcher taken in the draft, just before Jeremy Sowers and Homer Bailey. By all accounts, Rogers throws consistently 95+ MPH and has been clocked at 100 MPH in the minors. The problem is that he doesn't always know where the ball is going.

His terrible command isn't even what's intriguing to me at this point. What's piqued my interest is that he leads all starting pitchers in the FSL with a 1.44 K/IP rate and also leads the league in H/IP with a 1.31 rate. What I can't figure out is how a pitcher can lead the league in strikeout rate, which would seem to indicate that he's the hardest pitcher to make contact on, and still be the easiest pitcher to get a hit off of in the entire league?

What I found is that he also leads the league in another category (besides his awful 0.76 BB/IP, which also leads the league). It turns out that of the balls put into play against Rogers, 46% of them become hits. His 46% is far and away tops in the league for starting pitchers and is well above the current league average of 31%. It's also well above his rate from last season, which was 31%.

I haven't seen Rogers pitch, so I'm not sure what's going on this year. I'm assuming that his high hit rate has a lot to do with bad luck, especially since so many batters fail to make contact against him. It also means that he's probably pitched better than his 7.04 ERA would indicate, although still not anything to get excited about because of all of those walks allowed.

One thing I can't find is another pitcher similar to Rogers, another pitcher who led his league in K/IP, BB/IP and H/IP. Are there any other pitchers out there comparable to him?


Really interesting stuff here. I think it might have to do with a lack of a good second pitch - those that can catch up to his fastball hit it, but there's a lot of guys in the low minors who can't handle the heat.
Posted by Erickson at 6/8/2006 9:41:00 AM

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