The 2022 MLB Draft is a little over two months away, but Friday has brought reports that certainly have the possibility to shake up the first round of the draft.
According to MLB insider Jeff Passan, former New York Mets draft pick Kumar Rocker has signed with the Tri-City Valleycats of the Frontier League. Rocker will pitch with them in an attempt to improve his draft stock.
Kumar Rocker, the former Vanderbilt ace who did not sign with the New York Mets after they chose him in the first round last year, has signed with the Tri-City Valleycats of the Frontier League. He’ll pitch there before the MLB Draft, where he’s eligible to be selected again.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 13, 2022
— Tri-City ValleyCats (@ValleyCats) May 13, 2022
Rocker is best well known for not signing with the Mets after being selected 10th overall in last year’s draft.
The Mets reportedly received a troubling MRI on Rocker after selecting him that showed issues with his right elbow, causing the team to offer the former Vanderbilt pitcher an offer well below the normal figure for an early first-round draft pick. Rocker did not agree to that and is eligible this year.
Many around the MLB world were waiting for an update on Rocker, and are extremely excited for him to hopefully prove his talents to MLB scouts between now and the MLB Draft in July.
In addition to being very good at baseball, Kumar Rocker was also one of the more famous college players in recent memory. So it's great that he's going to be pitching again in games that matter.
— Carlos Collazo (@CarlosACollazo) May 13, 2022
The saga of Kumar Rocker returns.
Will be interesting to see how many innings he gets. Will act as his pre-draft showcases. https://t.co/J5DA7VZppI
— Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB) May 13, 2022
— The Game Day MLB (@TheGameDayMLB) May 13, 2022
Covered the Frontier League for five years a long time ago. Good players, but nobody like Kumar Rocker. Glad to see the league get the exposure and glad Rocker will have the chance to show what he's got before the draft. https://t.co/0vC4X1qsIE
— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) May 13, 2022
Rocker was excellent during his time at Vanderbilt, acquiring 28 wins over his three years at the program, finishing his career with a 2.89 ERA.
Talent has never been the question with Rocker, but it will be interesting to see whether or not the injury concerns that have plagued him throughout his career are gone.
It remains to be seen whether or not his situation last year with the Mets will take Rocker off of their radar, but hopefully he can impress some teams ahead of the draft to get selected near his original draft spot last year.