Tag Archives: Texas Rangers

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.

Indy Ball – The British Are Coming

About a month ago, I met Joey Mellows through twitter (@BaseballBrit).

He mentioned that he has a new love for baseball, specifically independent baseball, even though he has never seen an indy ball game in person… yet.

Here is his story:

Indy Ball: The British Are Coming
by Joey Mellows
IMG_20171119_154017.jpg
@BaseballBrit on Twitter

 

In June 2018 I intend to fly 6,515 miles from Seoul to Kansas to watch a baseball game between the Kansas City T-Bones and Lincoln Saltdogs. I have never watched an independent league game before but want to learn more about baseball that is played and operated outside of the monopolistic Major and Minor Leagues.

 

At the age of 32 I have decided to roll the dice with my life (and career) and have informed my current employer of my intentions to leave my steady, well-paid job, in June 2018 so that I can watch, document and write about the current state of independent baseball within the USA.

 

I am also a Brit, with little experience of baseball except for three recent summers spent following the Orix Buffaloes in Japan, the LG Twins in Korea and the Texas Rangers in the MLB. My upbringing is similar to many from the UK with soccer, cricket and rugby dominating my early sporting interactions growing up in England.

 

The plan at present is still highly flexible, and that is where I hope, you, the readers of Kayla Thompson’s excellent Indy Ball Island website, can help contribute as I travel throughout the USA in 2018 and 2019 following players, teams and stories around the various traditional summer independent leagues.

 

I would love to hear from you via a direct message to @BaseballBrit on Twitter or joe_mellows@hotmail.com if you wish to contribute or be included in my research and travels.

I am particularly interested in the joys, frustrations and day-to-day lives of people associated with Indy Ball.   

 

This is especially true if you are a:

  • fan of a specific team
  • player (current, past or aspiring)
  • coach/ manager
  • front-office worker (intern, part-time or full-time)
  • broadcaster/ podcaster
  • scorer/ statistician/ historian
  • owner
  • local resident from a town/city with an Indy Ball team
  • local resident/ business owner from a town/city where an Indy Ball team has sadly left

 

I intend to chronicle the stories, eccentricities and business elements of independent baseball – particularly geographical regions of the country that have been overlooked or ignored until the arrival/departure of independent ball.

 

Recommendations on ballparks, the independent baseball life, famous fans, books, websites, and people to follow on Twitter would be gratefully received and I hope to hear from many of you before next summer – so please get in touch!

 

About Joey Mellows (@BaseballBrit)

 

I caught the baseball bug whilst attending my first game in Osaka, Japan as a means of keeping my visiting British parents occupied for the evening. Since then I have spent the majority of my free time watching, reading, discussing, and travelling to baseball games with an assortment of characters with a shared passion for the KBO, NPB, MLB and SABR.
I am also intent on helping to further baseball interest among British fans with a group of podcasters from www.batflipsandnerds.com and run the UK fan accounts for the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers on Twitter.

 

I encourage all of you to help out Joey on this adventure in any way that you can!