The Texas Rangers made a splash right out of the gate on day one of the MLB Draft. With the third overall pick, the Rangers selected former Vanderbilt University RHP pitcher Kumar Rocker.
This marks the second straight year that Rocker has been drafted in the first round. Last year, Rocker was the tenth overall pick in the first round by the New York Mets. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the Mets could not sign Rocker before the August 1 deadline, allowing the Rangers to select Rocker with the third pick in the draft.
There are some question marks regarding Rocker’s overall health that the Rangers will have to monitor closely. Shortly after drafting Rocker, Rangers general manager Chris Young was interviewed on the health of Rocker ” we are extremely comfortable with the review that our medical team has done. Kumar has been under the care of one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the world.”
The news of Rocker’s overall health has the Rangers feeling pretty confident as they have been able to watch Rocker pitch this season from afar. Rocker has been pitching for the Tri-City Valley Cats of the independent Frontier League this summer, going 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in five starts. Rocker went five innings in his last start, giving up only two hits, one walk, and recorded seven strikeouts.
With this pick, Rocker will be reunited with his former Vandy teammate, Jack Leiter, the Rangers second overall pick from 2021. Together, the duo was at the top of the SEC in every category in 2021, which is one of the reasons why the Commodores were able to make a return trip to the College World Series in 2021, which ended up losing to Mississippi State in the finals.
The Rangers will pick back on Monday starting in the fourth round. The Rangers forfeited their second and third-round picks with the off-season signings of Marcus Semien and Corey Seager.
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