Mets & Kumar Rocker | There’s No Such Thing As A Perfect Match

Mets & Kumar Rocker | There’s No Such Thing As A Perfect Match

Kumar Rocker won’t be rocking out in Queens after all.

The Mets and Rocker, the 10th overall pick out of Vanderbilt in the recent MLB Draft, couldn’t reach an agreement before Sunday’s signing deadline passed.

Reportedly, a deal fell apart after a physical showed issues with his pitching elbow.

 

 

 

That means Rocker won’t be a Met. Meanwhile, the Mets will get a compensation pick instead. It will be the 11th pick in 2022.

Mets fans should be heartbroken. Many thought Kumar could be the next Dwight Gooden.

Entering the 2021 season, Rocker was labeled as the consensus No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. 

He most notably put his name on the map after his performance during Vandy’s 2019 College World Series run.  Rocker threw a 19-strikeout, no-hitter against Duke, which was the first ever thrown no-no in a Super Regional.

 

 

Vanderbilt would go on to win the College World Series and would have been heavy favorites to repeat in 2020 on the shoulders of Rocker’s 1.80 ERA in three starts before the season was ended due to the Covid pandemic.

Rocker was a workhorse for the Commodores in the 2021 season.

He had a 14-4 record through 20 starts.  He pitched 122 innings and struck out 179 batters on his way to posting a 2.73 ERA.

 

 

 

He, along with second overall pick Jack Leiter – who signed with the Texas Rangers – helped lead Vandy to another appearance in the College World Series this year.

And after the final series was tied at a win a piece, Rocker was selected to take the bump in the winner-take-all Game 3.

However, he did not have command and struggled early as he only lasted 4 ⅓ innings allowing five runs on six strikeouts and taking the loss to champion Mississippi State.

That was the final start of Rocker’s college career, or so we thought.  He entered the 2021 draft and surprisingly to most expert draft boards, fell all the way to 10 to the New York Mets.

It seemed like a match made in heaven.

Rocker, who has been under a microscope of pressure since high school, is made for the bright lights of New York and their media.

He also would have a chance to join Black Knights Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman as African-American starters in the Mets rotation.

 

 

Brown On The Mound: Taijuan Walker & Marcus Stroman Black Ball Phillies 

 

Rocker and the Mets had an agreement on a $6 million deal but after a physical “supposedly” showed issues with his elbow, things fell apart.

However, this is where the situation gets a little dicey:

 

 

Rocker is represented by super agent Scott Boras who along with Rocker’s camp, insist that he is healthy,  according to sources.

It was also reported that orthopedists outside of the Mets’ organization disagree with the assessment that Mets’ doctors gave on the health of Rocker.

Before the draft, Rocker was selected to be a part of the MLB pre-draft MRI program which allows all 30 teams to have a player’s medical information, but since he did not participate (which is common for players going high in the draft) the Mets will be awarded the 11th overall pick in the 2022 Draft as compensation in exchange for not offering Rocker a contract.

 

Rocker’s agent Scott Boras said in a statement, “Kumar Rocker is healthy according to independent medical review by multiple prominent baseball orthopedic surgeons. Immediately upon conclusion of his collegiate seasons, 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.”

That adds a whole other dimension to baseball’s rule that doesn’t allow a player to sign with any other team if they can’t come to terms on a deal.

 

 

Once again, we are left to question the decisions made by the Mets’ front office.  In addition to losing Rocker, they also sent away their 2020 first-round pick Pete Crow-Armstrong, who they drafted out of high school to the Chicago Cubs earlier this week.

Since 2016 the Mets have drafted seven players in the first round, including Seattle Mariners MLBbro pitcher Justin Dunn and top prospect outfielder Jared Kelenic.

However, only two of those picks are currently still in the organization.

5 Future MLBbros Chosen In First Round Of MLB Draft

5 Future MLBbros Chosen In First Round Of MLB Draft

Each year hundreds of amateur ball players wait to hear their names called in the Major League Baseball draft.

Sunday, the first round of the draft was held, ushering in the first wave of this next generation of stars hoping to emerge.

Some will go on to greatness, others obscurity. But, in this moment, all that lies ahead is potential.

A number of young men joined the ranks of soon-to-be MLBbros, with rounds 2-10 starting on Monday afternoon at 1:00 pm ET, and rounds 11-20 starting at noon on Wednesday.

Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit HS (TX)

Jordan Lawlar, a 6’2” shortstop out of Texas, was rated as the third overall prospect in the MLB.com prospect rankings, but just as top prospect Marcelo Mayer was taken later than he expected, Lawlar lasted until the sixth pick, where he was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

 

 

Lawlar had been the top ranked high school player in his class since 2020, and posted a .430 average over 64 high school games. This past season, 12 of his 34 hits went for extra bases, showing off his speed. Lawlar stole 27 bases in 28 games, and has great range as a middle infielder.

 


He’s been most often compared to current All-Star Carlos Correa and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter. 

Arizona may have the worst record in the National League, but they just picked up possibly the best player in the draft.

 

Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt

It wasn’t that long ago that Rocker was being hailed as a potential number one overall pick. The 2021 season at Vanderbilt didn’t go according to plan, with scouts worrying about inconsistent velocity, and ending with a Game 3 loss to Mississippi State in the College World Series.

 

Instead, Rocker was a surprise selection by the New York Mets at 10.

Rocker doesn’t have to be Jacob DeGrom to be an instant contributor for a Mets staff that has used 14 different starting pitchers this season.

Listed at 6’5” and 245 lbs, he’s built to eat innings and strike out batters, tying for the NCAA Division I lead in strikeouts with 179 in 122 innings. His top two pitchers are his fastball and his slider, but he will have to improve his control and sharpen his secondary pitchers.

 

With fellow MLBbros Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman already making major contributions this season; Rocker could give the Mets an unprecedented three Black starters in its rotation.

 

Harry Ford, C, North Cobb HS (GA)

Ford became the fifth catcher from the state fo Georgia to be taken in the first round in the past eight drafts when the Seattle Mariners took him with the 12th pick.

The Mariners have been consistent in their acquisition and development of Black talent over recent years, and Ford should only add to that mix.

 

The 5’10”, 200 pound prospect has been solid on the backstop, but could be moved to the infield or outfield as his career progresses.

While the glove is nice, Ford is a first-round selection because of his bat. Swinging from the right side of the plate, he generates incredible bat speed for his age and can crush quality pitches as well as mistakes. 

Ford’s immediate future will be determined by his discipline at the plate as much as his ability behind it.

 

Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest HS (NC)

Though he entered the draft as a top-five prospect, shortstop Kahlil Watson fell all the way to 16th and into the arms of the Miami Marlins.

Perhaps Marlins CEO Derek Jeter knows a thing or two about identifying middle infield talent. He’s already been a mentor to Jazz Chisholm, and now he has the ultra-athletic Watson in the fold.

 

 

Watson has a similar build to Chisholm, checking in at 5’9” and 178 pounds. He has power for a middle infielder and pairs good plate discipline with consistent contact.

His speed is more than adequate and Watson could be another of the young players who helps bring the stolen base back to the game. Though he has played shortstop throughout his high school career, Watson is talented enough to play any number of positions. 

After being taken this late in the first round, Watson could end up being the steal of the draft.

 

Jay Allen, OF, John Carroll Catholic HS (FL)

The Cincinnati Reds used the 30th pick of the first round on outfielder Jay Allen. There is no doubting the raw talent that Allen has to work with. He was a three sport star for John Carroll, playing football and basketball as well as dominating on the diamond.

He’s already committed to the University of Florida on a baseball-only scholarship, but after being taken in the first round, he could be willing to reconsider that choice.

 

 

His six-foot, three-inch frame should add muscle as Allen matures, and scouts view him as a potential power-hitting right fielder for years to come. 

The Reds have a hitter friendly park and Allen has time to develop. This could be a very solid match between player and organization.

Black Prospects Remaining in the MLB.com Top 100

36) Jaden Hill, RHP, LSU

44) James Wood, OF, IMG Academy (FL)

52) Christian Franklin, OF, Arkansas

66) Braden Montgomery, OF/RHP, Madison Central (MS)

70) Ryan Bliss, SS, Auburn

72) Lonnie White, OF, Malvern Prep (PA)

74) Dylan Smith, RHP, Alabama

80) Daylen Lile, OF, Trinity (KY)

94) Braylon Bishop, OF, Arkansas

95) Malakhi Knight, OF, Marysville-Getchell (WA)

97) Isaiah Thomas, OF, Vanderbilt

 

Hunter Greene Is A PopStar | His 104 MPH Heater Is About To Hit The Show

Hunter Greene Is A PopStar | His 104 MPH Heater Is About To Hit The Show

Cincinnati Reds pitching prospect Hunter Greene had fans and team executives on the edge of their seats as he began his first Triple-A start for the Louisville Bats by imposing his will on opposing batter. 

 

 

Green registered a 104 mile per hour fastball on the radar gun during his debut against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, which broke the internet.

 

We warned you earlier in the season, that this melanated mound marauder was next up.

 

Freakish Flamethrower Hunter Greene Could Be MLB’s Next Pitching Star

 

Now he’s breathing down the back of MLB competition and chomping at the bit to start flaming batters. 

The Cincinnati Reds’ top prospect gave up four home runs and a walk for the Bats, but he also gave hitters the gas face with eight strikeouts in a 6-5 defeat at Omaha. 

The 2017 second-overall pick threw 46 of his 73 pitches for strikes to finish his rollercoaster ride of a day by striking out the side in order in the fourth inning.

Don’t buy too much stock in the home run narrative, as in all actuality, we know that hitters eschew at the plate when facing such exorbitant pitches. Instead, hitters will stick their bats out over the plate to stop the mortification with hopes of making contact.

Guys with mega-high velocity are generally relievers, not starting pitchers.

Since 2008 only five pitchers sniffed the 104-mph mark in Major League history, including closer Aroldis Chapman, who did it 67 times in his illustrious career, and fellow MLB bro Jordan Hicks, who did it 12 times. 

 

 

Greene dominated on the mound during his time with Double-A Chattanooga. He fanned 60 hitters in 41 innings while allowing only 27 batters to hit safely, leading to a 5-0 record and a 1.98 earned run average. 

Those accumulated stats were Greene’s first game action since 2018 after he missed all of 2019 due to Tommy John surgery and 2020 due to the pandemic.

READ MORE: Hunter Greene Is Double the Dopeness

Before receiving the call to the Reds Triple-A affiliate, Greene, in his final outing, struck out nine in six shutout innings for the Chattanooga Lookouts.

 

 

Reds manager David Bell addressed the following about the possibility of Greene making the jump to the show.

Bell told Cincinnatti.com, ” I don’t think that’s unreasonable for any guys in Triple-A.” He added, ” He is getting close.”

Greene is more than close to making his jump to the pro level. The race is on between him and Vanderbilt sensation Kumar Rocker as to who will become the next great Black pitcher. 

The results of his debut may not have been overwhelming, but Greene still impressed the masses with his velocity during his final three innings before getting pulled. With performances such as this under his belt, Greene, sooner rather than later, may force the Reds hand to make the call.