Kumar Rocker, the former first-round pick of the New York Mets, is set to sign with Tri-City Valleycats of the Frontier League.
Rocker is preparing for this year’s MLB Draft, with the hope he can sign on with a team willing to take a chance on him despite some injury concerns. The Mets selected Rocker in the first round last year, only to fail to sign him due to concerns over his physical.
While the Mets and Rocker had initially agreed to a $6 million signing bonus when he was selected, a physical revealed issues with the Vanderbilt product’s right elbow. However, Rocker and Scott Boras disagreed with this sentiment. In a statement, Boras backed up his client.
"“Kumar Rocker is healthy according to independent medical review by multiple prominent baseball orthopedic surgeons. Immediately upon the conclusion of his collegiate season, he had an MRI on both his shoulder and his elbow. When compared with his 2018 MRIs, the medical experts found no significant change. Kumar requires no medical attention and will continue to pitch in the regular course as he prepares to begin his professional career.”"
Will Kumar Rocker be drafted in 2022?
Rocker is among most pundits’ top-50 as we near the MLB Draft, so he’s likely to go somewhere. However, the uncertainty as to his status remains, and Rocker will have to show without a shadow of a doubt that he’s healthy and ready to pitch in a minor-league system right away.
Pitching in the independent league will help with that. With the Valleycats, Rocker will face high minor-league competition, including some former MLB’ers looking for another shot at the bigs. It’s the perfect place for Rocker with just a few months before he makes his dream a reality.