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Monday, July 18, 2022

MLB Draft analysis for every first-round pick from The Athletic’s Keith Law - The Athletic $

Keith Law’s analysis. For comparison, here’s his view on the Rocker pick.

3. Texas Rangers: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Tri-City ValleyCats

No. 33 on the Big Board

Well, the Rangers just threw a metaphorical grenade into this draft, selecting Rocker with the third pick – so Rocker is probably going to end up with more money this year than he would have gotten had he signed with the Mets last year. Rocker threw a few times for the Tri-City ValleyCats this June, sitting 95-98 mph in his best outing with an above-average slider, working from a lower arm slot than he had at Vanderbilt. This gave his fastball more life, but also at least raises the question of whether this is a result of the shoulder surgery he had in September. Now he joins former Vanderbilt rotation-made Jack Leiter in the Rangers system. If you’d said to pretty much anyone in baseball in March 2021 that one organization would end up with both of those pitchers, they would have laughed maniacally in your face.

Scouting report: Rocker was the 10th-overall pick last year, selected by the Mets, but the team declined to offer him a contract after finding something they didn’t like in his post-draft physical. Rocker left Vanderbilt to pitch for the independent Tri-City ValleyCats in upstate New York, where he was 95-98 in his first outing with two above-average breaking balls and an adequate changeup, showing a lower arm slot than he had last year. Rocker has shown a plus-plus slider at times in the past, and there’s no reason to think his fastball is back but his slider isn’t. He has always had better control than command, and while he’s shown incredible competitiveness in some games — like the no-hitter he threw in 2019, when he was pushed to 131 pitches — he’s also had outings where he seemed to struggle to adjust mid-game. He has No. 2 starter upside, if healthy, but the risk associated with his medicals may make him a better bet for some team’s second pick.

jimfurtado Posted: July 18, 2022 at 11:29 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mlb draft

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   1. FernandoPoplar Posted: July 26, 2022 at 05:17 AM (#6088271)
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