This comes after the New York Mets declined to sign him to a contract after picking him tenth overall in 2021’s Draft.
After picking him, there were some concerns with his pitching elbow, so the Mets opted not to sign him and gain an additional first-round pick this year.
To stay in shape, the hulking right-hander pitched with the Tri-City Valley Cats in an independent league, posting a 1.35 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in 20 innings.
The Rangers, however, have made things official with the talented ace: they already signed him to a contract.
“The Rangers have signed RHP Kumar Rocker, the team’s first round selection (third overall pick) in last week’s 2022 MLB Draft. Rocker will be formally introduced at a press conference on Thursday, August 4 at Globe Life Field,” the team reported via Twitter.
The Rangers have signed RHP Kumar Rocker, the team’s first round selection (third overall pick) in last week’s 2022 MLB Draft. Rocker will be formally introduced at a press conference on Thursday, August 4 at Globe Life Field.
— Texas Rangers PR (@TXRangersPR) July 26, 2022
Reunited With An Old Friend
That seals it: Rocker, who formed a formidable one-two punch with Jack Leiter at Vanderbilt, is now a member of the Rangers.
And guess what: Leiter is, too, having been picked last year in the first round.
There is a chance the two aces reunite in the Rangers’ rotation within the next two or three years.
Little by little, Rocker has been erasing concerns surrounding the health of his arm.
There are some questions about his ability to maintain his elite velocity in games, and other baseball-related things that are normal for every pitching prospect.
However, in a best-case scenario, Leiter and Rocker could be a strong one-two punch in any MLB rotation.
Rocker has a good chance of reaching MLB and being, at least, a solid middle-of-the-rotation piece.