Revisting how the Marlins scouted Trevor Rogers

Revisting how the Marlins scouted Trevor Rogers


Stan Meek, the former Miami Marlins vice president of scouting, takes us through how the club scouted left-hander Trevor Rogers

By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd

“Tall pitchers take a long time. Tall left-handers take forever.”

Long-time MLB executive Pat Gillick, one of the best evaluators ever in the business, is credited with making the above statement about pitchers who stretch the tape measure.

When it comes to developing pitching, especially tall, left-handers, Gillick reminds that clubs must show patience.

Former Marlins amateur scouting director Stan Meek relayed the saying when describing Miami’s lanky left-hander, Trevor Rogers.

“That was a Pat Gillick line from back in the day,” Meek said in an exclusive interview with MO2.

When the Marlins’ amateur scouting staff first laid eyes on Rogers, it was at the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif., in the summer of 2016, the year before Miami made the then slender, 6-foot-5, southpaw its first-round pick.

“We saw him at the Area Code Games, and he threw a lot of strikes,” Meek said. “We knew the breaking ball was behind, and he had a decent feel for his changeup. He had a good frame. But like they all are, at 16-17, he just hadn’t filled out. That’s when we first saw him. He was on our radar.”

For a rangy kid, Rogers’ delivery was loose, easy and free.

“He could really throw strikes with his fastball,” Meek said.

The projections the Marlins’ scouting staff saw in the summer of 2016 are now paying off.

Rogers, 23, is now a sturdy 6-foot-5, 217-pounder, who is developing into an elite big league starter.

The towering lefty on Monday night threw six shutout innings in the Marlins’ 8-0 win at the Milwaukee Brewers. Rogers raised his profile yet again by getting the best of Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes, an early Cy Young Award candidate.

After his overpowering performance, Rogers is now is 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA in five starts. The lefty has already logged 28 innings, which matches his season total from 2020 when he made his MLB debut. Thus far, he’s struck out 38 and walked just 10, and has a WHIP of 1.00.

It’s a one-month sample size, but Rogers certainly is living up to the billing of being the 13th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft.

“We liked how loose, and easy, and free he threw. And he could really throw strikes with his fastball,” Meek said.

Meek, now retired, was the Marlins vice president of scouting when the organization selected Rogers in the first round.

The Marlins made Rogers their first round pick the year after the organization selected another lefty, Braxton Garrett, in the first round in 2016.

Going back to back years with high school left-handers wasn’t a red flag for the Marlins.

“I’ve always been big on taking left-handers,” Meek said. “If it’s all equal, it’s not equal, right? Look for the left-hander.”

A native of Carlsbad, N.M., Rogers grew up in a small town. But the way he handled himself in front of a couple of hundred scouts and elite competition at the Area Code games convinced the Marlins he was first-round worthy.

“When you see a kid come from a little out of the way place, that kind of describes Carlsbad, New Mexico,” Meek said. “To walk into a setting like Long Beach, Calif., with like 100-200 scouts there. Whatever it was. Each team probably has six or seven guys there. To walk out in that setting and throw it over. That’s something most guys can’t do, especially if they’ve never been in front of that kind of group before.”

After the Area Code Games, Meek, as well as Marlins area scout, Scott Stanley, who was based in Arizona, Scott Goldby (Western U.S. Supervisor) and David Crowson (the former Marlins National Crosschecker), kept tabs on Rogers during his senior season in high school.

“Trevor was at the far end of Scott Stanley’s territory,” Meek said. “Carlsbad, New Mexico, is southeastern New Mexico. A long way from Scott Stanley’s house. He saw him, and said he liked the way he threw. I went and saw him, and he threw very well.”

Meek watched Rogers pitch in a game at New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M.

Trevor Rogers at the Area Code Games

The trip proved worthwhile for Meek for a couple of reasons. Foremost, he saw Rogers pitch at a high level, and secondly, he also purchased a pair of Caiman cowboy boots.

“I flew into El Paso,” Meek said. “It’s one of the great boot places in the world. I’m driving out of the airport, and there’s a big Lucchese Outlet. I roll right in.”

Meek saw a pair of alligator-type Caiman boots. The sticker price was $1,800, but Meek talked the price down to $600.

“There is the negotiation of the scouting director,” Meek joked. “I got him to $600.”

Meek had the boots shipped to his home in Oklahoma, and he headed to New Mexico to watch Rogers.

Rogers’ fastball that day sat in the 90-93 mph range. Meek was in attendance with Crowson. In one inning, Rogers got into a bit of a bind, after he yielded leadoff triple on a bloop hit that skipped past the outfielder.

Crowson said to Meek: “The good ones, when they get in a spot like that, you really kind of see who they really are.”

Facing adversity, Rogers reached back and added some extra velocity to his fastball.

“He proceeds to go like 95-96 when he gets a guy on third, and he just blows like three hitters away in a row,” Meek said. “He had been throwing 90-93. It was like he was just playing catch, but when he got a guy on third and nobody out, he dialed it up to like 95-96. Again, you think, ‘Wow!’ He pitched to his comfort zone, which was like 92-93, and then he turns the dial up and gets them out.”

The final step in the scouting process, former Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill traveled to New Mexico to see Rogers pitch in the state tournament.

“I think Mike really liked what he saw there,” Meek said. “He competed very well and threw very well there. I think that probably solidified it.”


2 thoughts on “Revisting how the Marlins scouted Trevor Rogers

  1. Pingback: Offishial news, 4/30/21: MiLB roster reveals; Marlins call-up pending | Miami Sports Today

Comments are closed.

Comments are closed.