CAPE COD, Mass. -- After tossing seven shutout innings and allowing only two singles in a 1-0 win on Saturday, Kentucky junior southpaw Taylor Rogers has been selected Cape Cod League Coca-Cola Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced on Monday afternoon.
While pitching for the Harwich Mariners in the prestigious Cape Cod League, Rogers turned in one of the best starts of the summer, going seven shutout innings with only two harmless singles allowed. A native of Littleton, Colo., Rogers allowed no walks and fanned two in the 1-0 win over the Orleans Firebirds.
“It was actually supposed to be on Friday and that game got cancelled,” Rogers said about his start vs. Orleans. “We hadn’t beat Orleans yet, they had beaten us two times in a row. We had seen them before so I kind of knew going in what would work. I was getting ahead early and they were swinging early in the count and I was able to watch my pitch count so I could do deep in the game. I was able to get some groundouts and the guys behind us are great defensive players.”
In four starts this summer for Harwich, Rogers has established himself as one of the top pitching prospects in college baseball, posting a 2-2 record and a 2.14 ERA, with three of his starts going as quality outings. The 6-foot-3, 170-pounder has hurled 21 innings, allowing only 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts.
“I have been basing everything off my fastball,” Rogers said about his improvement in the Cape Cod League. “I have been able to throw the fastball where I want, on the inside and outside of the plate, and the curveball and changeup have come off of the fastball. Another thing I have been working on is my delivery, making sure that I use my legs more often and not just my arm. That has really helped me get through the later innings.”
In his four starts, Rogers has three quality outings, including six shutout innings in a win on June 23 that saw him strike out nine. In his first start of the summer on June 15, Rogers went six innings and allowed only four hits and two earned runs.
“Every team looks like a fully-loaded SEC team,” Rogers said about the talent in the Cape. “All of the players are real solid guys that are mainly draft eligible. It is a tremendous league. Every night you get a chance to face a first rounder or someone who could be in the big leagues real soon.”
Rogers has helped lead Harwich to first place in the Eastern Division, tied with Western Division foe Hyannis for the best overall record in the CCL.
“We are doing great actually,” Rogers said. “We are actually in first place. It has been a lot of fun. The coaches are real cool. We are at the point where we all know the guys real well and we have gelled. We have all developed friendships outside of baseball. It has been real fun and even winning is making it a lot better.”
A 37th-round pick out of high school by the Baltimore Orioles, Rogers is not the only UK pitcher tearing up the Cape Cod League, as freshman righty Trevor Gott has established himself as one of the top closers in the circuit. A native of Lexington, Ky., Gott leads the CCL with six saves in 10 relief outings, tossing 11.2 innings with 14 strikeouts, three walks and only six hits allowed. Gott, who owns a staggering 0.77 ERA, has allowed only one run in his 10 outings, with opponents hitting .154.
“Trevor has been doing really well up here,” Rogers said. “We played them on Wednesday and he came in during the ninth and he was throwing 94 or 95, it was pretty awesome to watch.”
In addition to Rogers, Washington State leadoff hitter Jason Monda was named Coca-Cola Player of the Week.