For the first three rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft, prognosticators talked about every catching prospect as if they were not going to stick at catcher. The Houston Astros selected a catcher with the No. 97 pick in the 2016 Draft that will for sure stick at catcher: Tulane backstop Jake Rogers.
Rogers, a junior from Canyon, TX, batted .261 (55x211) for the Green Wave last season with nine doubles, seven home run, 28 RBIs, 46 runs scored, .384 on-base percentage, and a .403 slugging percentage. He also stole 13 bases in 14 attempts. Rogers threw out 27 of 43 runners that attempted to stealing during the 2016 season -- for .372 stolen base against percentage. He threw out 15-of-21 runners during the Cape Cod League.
MLB.com said of Rogers:
Rogers showed enough all-around promise as a Texas high schooler to merit a top-10-rounds selection in 2013, but his strong commitment to Tulane left him undrafted. He has developed into the best defensive catcher in the college ranks and a team that believes he'll hit enough to become a regular could make him the Green Wave's highest pick since Shooter Hunt was a Twins supplemental first-rounder in 2008. He is so good behind the plate that some scouts believe he's the best defender at any position in the 2016 Draft.
Rogers moves well and has very soft hands, making him an excellent receiver who had no problems handling quality arms on a daily basis in the Cape Cod League last summer. His pure arm strength is closer to average than plus but plays up because he has a lightning-fast transfer, which enabled him to lead NCAA Division I in basestealers caught (33) and caught-stealing percentage (58 percent) before topping the Cape in the latter category (71 percent) in 2015. He had erased 63 percent of basestealers this spring through conference tournament play.
His defense alone should make Rogers a big league backup, but his offensive capabilities remain very much in question. He hit a combined .215/.300/.251 in his first two years at Tulane and cooled off after an encouraging start this spring. While he has some raw power and an eye for drawing walks, he has a big leg kick that throws off his timing at the plate and a right-handed swing that gets long and produces weak contact too often.