All posts by IndyBallIsland

31. Baseball fan. I prefer indy ball and the minors over the majors. If it's summer, you can find me at a ballpark. The Washington Wild Things and the Pittsburgh Pirates are my "hometown" teams, but I'm always up for taking a baseball road trip! Follow me on Twitter: @kmthomp29

A Love Letter to the Frontier League

Dear Frontier League,

For 20 seasons, you have filled my summer nights.

We have had a crazy relationship… a real roller coaster of emotions.

You are some of my fondest memories… And also some of my most heartbreaking ones.

I’ve cried over you and a trophy that seems to always allude the ones that I love.

I’ve celebrated triumphs.

Taken some pretty awesome road trips.

Made life long friends.

I’ve seen boys start their careers and men finish theirs.

And all the bullpen bags, and I really do mean ALLLLL the bags, that were carefully picked and packed. I wouldn’t trade those shopping trips or days of baking cookies for anything.

My loyalty to my home team will always be there, but if you taught me one thing, it’s that the name on the front of the jersey doesn’t matter in the end.

The relationships I’ve made because of you go much deeper than if someone is a WildThing, a Y’All, or even a Miner… hell they might end up being all three at some point in their careers.

You’ve taught me to always take care of the people who take care of you.

This website was built on that statement, and I will always stand by that.

To the people and ballparks that feel like home, thank you.

You’ve helped this once shy girl turn into the confident woman who created something pretty special with Indy Ball Island.

You’ve given me a love for baseball that I now pass on to the ones that I coach.

You’ve given me a place in this world.

The end of the regular season has arrived, and this post season will definitely be one that will toy with my emotions yet again.

20 years later… let’s see how this one plays out.

With love,

Ms. Indy Ball Island

P.S. To every player and coach that has ever put on a Frontier League jersey… I just want to say thank you.

P.P.S. To all the boys who have played their final game… congratulations.

Kumar Rocker’s Stint in Frontier League Pays Off, Drafted Third Overall in 2022 MLB Draft

The third time really does seem to be the charm for Kumar Rocker after being selected as the third overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers.

Rocker was previously drafted out of high school in the 38th round in 2018 by the Colorado Rockies and out of Vanderbilt University in the 1st round (10th overall) by the New York Mets last year but did not sign either time.

The Mets ultimately decided not to offer him a contract citing medical concerns.

Those medical concerns were never fully stated or understood – both Rocker’s agent, Scott Boras, and Vanderbilt coach, Tim Corbin, denied that there were any medical concerns surrounding the right-handed pitcher who compiled a 28-10 record with a 2.89 ERA overall in his three seasons with Vanderbilt.

However, Rocker did have minor shoulder surgery this past off season.

Rocker’s agent, Scott Boras, told ESPN that, “We have a very clear understanding, after a minor scope, of Kumar’s medically documented health, which has allowed him to perform at the highest levels.” Boras told ESPN that the surgery did not involve Rocker’s rotator cuff or labrum.

Rocker’s team informed MLB clubs of the procedure prior to this year’s MLB Draft.

Tennessean

Instead of returning to Vanderbilt for his senior season, Rocker elected to play professional baseball with the Tri-City ValleyCats in the Frontier League.

Tri-City ValleyCats pitcher Kumar Rocker during a Frontier League game against the Trois-Rivieres Aigles at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium on the Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY, on Saturday, June 4, 2022. (Jim Franco/Special to the Times Union)

Rocker had 5 starts with the ValleyCats and ended his stint with a 1-0 record and a 1.35 ERA over 20 innings.

While with the ValleyCats, he built up from 40 to a high of 69 pitches over his five starts. In his last start, Rocker threw about 12 pitches at 98 mph and showed command of his secondary pitches. “We just needed to illustrate he was Kumar being Kumar and that’s kind of what the purpose of being with the ‘Cats was and he accomplished all that” said Boras.

After his final start with the ValleyCats, Rocker reflected a bit on indy ball: “This is the point where players make a difference,” Rocker said. “This is the guys who stay in the game a long time. There’s a lot of baseball-for-lifers here and it’s special to be around these guys in the locker room and things like that.”

According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, The Texas Rangers and Kumar Rocker have agreed to terms on a $5.2MM deal, which is well below slot value but still $460,000+ more than last year’s No. 10 slot with the Mets last year.