Sometimes it just takes a punch in the face for one to realize their true potential on the baseball field and in life. For Indians pitcher Esmil Rogers, it took two.
Rogers, a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, signed with the Colorado Rockies Dominican Academy in 2003 and played in the Dominican Summer League. In three years as shortstop, Rogers hit .208 in 494 at-bats.
The DSL pitching coach recognized Rogers’ arm strength as an infielder and decided to convert him into a pitcher, fully aware of his potential on the mound.
“I tell [people] they made me a pitcher because I hit too much,” Rogers said. “They say, ‘They made you a pitcher, and you hit too much?’ I say, ‘Yes. I hit .300 in three years — .100, .100, and .100.’”
Rogers made the transition from infielder to pitcher with current Orioles reliever Pedro Strop, his former…
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