Rogearvin Argelo Bernadina
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 175 lb.
Roger Bernadina made his major league debut with the Washington Nationals, in his 8th professional season, in 2008. After six years in rookie and A ball, he made it to both AA and AAA in his 7th season. He is the brother of Ludwig Bernadina and minor leaguer Roderick Bernadina.
Bernadina was signed by scout Fred Ferreira for the Montréal Expos in 2001. In 2002, he debuted for the GCL Expos and hit .276/.348/.357. His 10 outfield assists led the Gulf Coast League. In 2003, he began a three-year run with the Savannah Sand Gnats, hitting .237/.292/.345. At age 19/20, he improved to .238/.338/.369 with 7 triples and 24 steals in 26 tries. He did strike out 113 times in 450 at bats with 10 errors but 15 assists. In his third year with the Sand Gnats, he batted .233/.356/.369 and stole 35 bases while getting caught 8 times. His 75 walks led the South Atlantic League. The Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals after the 2004 season. In 2006, Roger moved up to the Potomac Nationals and hit .270/.355/.369. He went 28-for-39 in steal attempts and was 11th in the Carolina League in average. Joining DOOR Neptunus for the playoffs, he went 1 for 6. Bernadina started 2007 with the Harrisburg Senators, making his AA debut. He batted .277/.352/.379 in his first 56 games and stole 25 bases in 32 tries, leading the Eastern League in steals at the time. He was promoted to AAA when the Nationals traded Darnell McDonald away for Levale Speigner. In his AAA debut against the Ottawa Lynx, the new Columbus Clippers outfielder went 0 for 4 with a walk and a run. He was just 7 for 42 with Columbus, with a .327 OBP and .238 slugging percentage. He was sent back to AA and finished the season with a .270/.340/.369 line in Harrisburg with 40 steals in 54 attempts. He finished second to Eugenio Velez in stolen bases in the EL.
In the 2007 European Championship, Bernadina hit .632/.759/1.053 with 18 runs scored and six steals in six tries. In the Gold Medal game, he scored 3 times to help the Dutch clinch a spot in the 2008 Olympics. He had the best OBP in the finals and was second in average and slugging to MVP Brant Ust. Bernadina led in runs scored and tied for the stolen base lead in the finals and made the EC All-Star team in the outfield. Bernadina remained a spark plug for the Dutch team in the 2007 Baseball World Cup, hitting .357/.500/.429 but was limited to four games in the field due to injury problems; Martijn Meeuwis and Gregory Halman filled in as Bernadina was used for pinch-hitting. The Dutch Baseball and Softball Association awarded Bernadina the Guus van der Heijden Memorial Trophy as the best international player under 23 years old for 2007. Roger began 2008 back with the Senators and hit .323/.398/.474 with 26 steals in 35 tries in 73 games. He was 6th in the Eastern League in average, 9th in OBP, tops in steals, tied with Nick Evans for 2nd in triples (7) and tied for 6th in runs scored (47).
Roger made his major league debut after being promoted to the Nationals due to the injury to Lastings Milledge in 2008. He led off and played center in his debut and went 1 for 5 and scored a run. In his first at-bat, he singled off Jeremy Guthrie and later came home on an Aaron Boone grounder. Bernadina was the former 6th Hoofdklasse player to make the majors, following Win Remmerswaal, Rikkert Faneyte, Robert Eenhoorn, Ralph Milliard and Rick Vanden Hurk. He earned the nickname "The Shark" for his ability to gobble down fly balls in the outfield, reminiscent of a shark pouncing on smaller fishes. Wanting to take advantage of a rare cool nickname, the minor league Potomac Nationals decided to honor him with a special promotion in 2013, minting a collectible figurine that depicted Roger as a half-man, half-shark hybrid, bounding out of the water to snatch a fly ball.
Roger did not live up to his billing in the bigs, occupying a seat on the shuttle between the minors and majors for parts of six seasons. After hitting a mere .178 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI in 85 games for the Nats in 2013, he was designated for assignment and signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on August 21st. His big league career came to a close following stints with the Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014. From 2017 to 2019, he spent time in the KBO and CPBL, playing with the Kia Tigers and Lamigo Monkeys, as well as time in the Baseball Challenge League and Mexican League. He had a couple big years in South Korea, hitting .320/.372/.540 with 27 homers, 118 runs, 111 RBI and 32 steals (in 39 tries) in 2017 (winning the 2017 Korean Series and a KBO Gold Glove) and .310/.395/.487 with 20 homers, 32 steals and 106 RBI in 2018.
His long world tour brought him back to the Netherlands in 2020, 14 years after his last time in the Hoofdklasse. He starred for the Dutch team in the 2021 European Championship, getting atonement for his having quit the team during their 2016 European Championship title run (he had quit after being benched for missing a practice). In the 2021 Euros, he hit .375/.633/.750 with 13 runs, 7 RBI, 9 walks and 6 steals (never caught) in 6 games, handling ten chances error-free. He led the Euros in runs (one ahead of Edison Valerio), tied for 8th with 3 doubles, was 2nd to Valerio in OBP, was 5th in OPS (between Dashenko Ricardo and Matěj Hejma), led in walks (one ahead of Denys Brechko, Shawn Larry and Noel Gonzalez), tied Dimitri Kourtis for 2nd in times plunked (4, one behind Ray-Patrick Didder) and was second in steals (one behind Didder). In the Gold Medal Game, he came up with the Netherlands down 4-1 in the 7th against Israel and two aboard. He drilled a three-run shot off Charles Rossman to tie it; the Netherlands rallied to win the game for their fourth straight European title. Bernadina was named European Championship MVP, the second former major leaguer to win the award, 16 years after Ivanon Coffie was the first (Faneyte had won prior to his stint in The Show). He was the second straight Willemstad native to win, following Ademar Rifaela (two other Willemstad natives, Curt Smith and Coffie, had also claimed the award in the 21st Century).