Kumar Rocker to pitch in Frontier League

Scouts simply included Troy, New York, to their travel schedules.

That’s the brand-new house of 2021 first-round choice Kumar Rocker. It was revealed on Friday that Rocker, the right-handed pitcher who was the No. 10 total choice in in 2015’s Draft, has actually accepted sign with the Tri-City ValleyCats in the independent Frontier League, a partner league with Major League Baseball.

Rocker is anticipated to sign up with Tri-City later on this month and will pitch for the ValleyCats till the Draft, which is set to start on Sunday, July 17 in Los Angeles as part of All-Star Game celebrations.

The 22-year-old Rocker starred at Vanderbilt University, assembling a 28-10 record and 2.89 period from 2019-21, completing with a 12.2 K/9 rate and 2.6 BB/9. He went into last spring as a prospective front-runner to be the No. 1 total choice in the Draft and wound up going No. 10 total to the Mets.

There were preliminary reports that Rocker and the Mets had actually accepted an over-slot perk of $6 million, pending a physical. After that test, the Mets had issues about Rocker’s shoulder and elbow, developing a deadlock that might not be solved.

The Mets wound up leaving the negotiating table, using no perk to Rocker. Where Rocker would pitch this spring has actually been a hot subject of discussion. He decided not to go back to Vanderbilt for his senior season, so the independent ball path appeared the most rational conclusion. Rocker, No. 31 on MLB Pipeline’s Draft Top 150 list, has 2 months to reveal scouts that he’s healthy and the things that made him a capacity No. 1 choice a year back is still undamaged.

“It will be a good opportunity for him to go out and prove what his Draft status is and put him in position to be selected,” one searching executive stated. “He obviously had to go out and do it to be evaluated so teams could consider him this year.”

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