NEW BRITAIN - After New Britain Bees first baseman Jason Rogers batted a cool .388 in a five-game series against the Somerset Patriots last week, he couldn’t help but focus on the at-bats that didn’t end the way he would have liked.
Sure, Rogers drove in six runs over the five games and entered the All-Star break as one of the team’s hottest hitters, but he couldn’t help but focus on the chances that got away, even when his performance against the best pitching staff in the Atlantic League was described as “huge.”
“It wasn’t huge,” Rogers said, shaking his head in disapproval. “I went 1-for-5 somewhere in there.”
True, but there was also a 3-for-4 night, as well as a pair of home runs to help New Britain grab two games of a back-and-forth series that saw Rogers come up in key spots multiple times. He came through more times than not; but again, it’s the times that didn’t go his way that he’s more concerned with.
“In game four, there were two at-bats in there, in the seventh inning and ninth inning, where I should have really beared down and got those runs in for us,” Rogers said, obsessively replaying the moments in his head and what could have been done differently.
Luckily for Rogers, he has enjoyed plenty of success this season, and hasn’t had too many missed opportunities to dwell upon. Through the first half of the season, Rogers posted a .394 on base percentage while smacking 13 doubles, the third-highest mark on the team. Thanks to his recent hot streak, Rogers has lifted his batting average to .298, flirting to eclipse the .300 mark if he’s able to carry his impressive stretch through the break and into the second half of the season.
“I’m just trying to see the ball a little better,” Rogers said. “I’m not trying to take any at-bats off. I’m getting older. The countdown is on until I won’t have any more at-bats.”
Rogers appears to be fighting off Father Time for the moment, and nobody in the Bees locker room is surprised to see him producing at a high level once again.
“He’s a professional hitter,” manager Mauro Gozzo said. “At the end of the year, I think you can book a .295 to .300 batting average with the same number of RBI and stuff like that. It’s a marathon with Rogers. You look at the back of his baseball card and you know what you’re going to get. I’m not surprised. All hitters go through ebbs and flows, but the cream rises to the top. He’s going to hit the ball hard.”
Rogers has been hitting the ball hard on a frequent basis of late, presenting a dilemma when the break arrived. Most players that are on a hot streak hope a break never arrives, but Rogers will try to make the most of it and maintain his current stroke when play resumes, trying to propel the Bees toward the postseason.
“I’m just trying to stay into it,” Rogers said. “It’ll be tough. I don’t really like days off, but it will be good to rest my legs and get back into shape.”
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094, or email@example.com