WOW! Well that's a fun surprise. A year after taking Jack Leiter 2nd overall in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Texas Rangers have drafted his former teammate Kumar Rocker 3rd overall. This is awesome.
Rocker has gone on a fucking journey and a half to get here. Last year Rocker chose to not disclose his pre-draft MRIs to teams and caused a stir with some worried about the condition of his elbow. The Vandy righty fell to the Mets at 10 and they pulled the trigger. After digging a little more and having him take a physical the Mets decided to forfeit the pick and not sign Rocker because of his health concerns.
The shitty part about all of this was that Rocker couldn't then become an MLB free agent. He remained draft eligible, having to wait until this year to hear his name called once again. Instead of going back to Vanderbilt, Rocker headed to independent ball and signed with the Tri-City Vally Cats. He refined his mechanics and clearly wowed enough scouts and GMs to get himself into the top 3 of the draft. Good for him because this could have gone a whole lot worse especially since his camp is once again withholding the MRI imagining.
The Rangers are getting a SP who is as close to MLB ready as it gets. It's an under-slot pick no question, but being without picks in the 2nd and 3rd round I wonder if they just wanted their guy and went for it. They said on the broadcast that there's a real chance you see him in the big league pen this season before getting a chance to start next year. I'm happy as hell for Rocker and I can only hope he goes on to make a goddamn mockery of the Mets for passing on him. The Rangers have struggled to build any kind of a starting rotation for years, but Rocker and Leiter have a chance to change all that real quick. Those two paired together again is very cool. Of course this could also go very sideways, but let's hope for the best.