Hard-throwing Kumar Rocker ready for his second MLB draft

Hard-throwing Kumar Rocker ready for his second MLB draft

Troy, NY (AP) — Kumar Rocker prepares for the second round in the MLB Draft.

A year after a solitary first-round selection that didn’t sign with a team, the hard-throwing right-hander and former Vanderbilt star is fresh off a brief professional tune-up that saw him on track to be re-elected as soon as possible. kept on. The first round when the draft begins in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Rocker was drafted No. 10 overall by the New York Mets last year. But the sides failed to reach an agreement by the August deadline as the Mets were concerned about the health of his right arm.

Rocker’s agent, Scott Boras, confirmed that Rocker had undergone “non-pitching-related minor surgery” on his right arm 10 months earlier.

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound rocker emerged from months of training in private when he signed a minor league contract with the independent Frontier League’s Tri-City Valleycats in mid-May. He recorded his first professional victory two weeks earlier, allowing two hits and one unearned run in five innings against the Empire State Grays, a traveling team that had only won two in 41 games after the loss.

It was the 22-year-old rocker’s fifth and final start for the Valleycats before being dormant to prepare for this year’s draft. He posted 1.35 ERA with 32 strikes and four walks and conceded 11 hits in 20 innings. His fastball hit 99 mph and was consistently in that range during his tenure with Tri-City, going with a nasty curveball and slider.

“I think I have a better understanding of pro hitters, just growing up on the mound a little bit,” the rocker said after his final appearance for Tri-City.

Three years earlier, Rocker led Vanderbilt to a College World Series title as a freshman. He was a three-year standout and posted a 2.89 ERA in 42 games (39 starts). He was also named the MVP of the College World Series, hitting 44 strikeouts in 28 postseason innings, including a 19-strikeout no-hitter at the NCAA Super Regionals against Duke. His ERA was a meager 0.96 at four postseason starts.

He opted not to go back to college after training on his own, instead signing with the Mets. The short stint with the Valleycats allowed him to get back into the live action groove.

“He’s the real deal,” said Tri-City manager Pete Incaviglia. “It’s not just his stuff that makes him, it’s his desire to compete. He loves to compete. He loves to get the ball every day. Those guys are special.”

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