So just what exactly do the New York Mets doctors know about Kumar Rocker’s arm that the medical team at Vanderbilt didn’t know?
Let’s not get this twisted here, if Mets Med was so on point Jacob deGrom’s name wouldn’t be followed by the suffix IL.
Its one thing for the Mets to get buyers remorse after after Rocker’s velocity reportedly dropped at the end of his college season.
But to allege arm issues on a player who made all his starts after a season off in 2020 is despicable.
Rocker struck out 179 batters in 122 innings with an ERA of 2.73. He also threw a no-hitter!
On draft day his dominance was so clear that he woke up the echoes of Bob Gibson and Doc Gooden on MLB Network.
In an analytics driven game these days, I would think those numbers don’t lie!
MBP College Player Highlight @KumarRocker RHP @VandyBoys graduate of @NOHS_Baseball #MLBDraft2021 expected #1 pick. First pitcher to throw no hitter in @NCAACWS super regionals, 2019 @CWSOmaha Most Outstanding Player#minorityinBaseball #6thjune #MinorityBaseballProspects pic.twitter.com/FDCJ7pbB3e
— Minority Baseball Prospects (@MBPTakeover) June 6, 2020
Clearly the Mets are trying to play front office hardball with Scott Boras and Team Rocker.
They know despite velocity issues at the end of the most unique season in the history of college baseball that Rocker is generational talent.
His value may be greater off the field than on it. If the difference in what they are offering is less than $1.4 million in a signing bonus doesn’t this rise to the level of “C’mon Man”?
That’s not much less than the annual deferred payment Bobby Bonilla gets annually from the organization on that MLB holiday.
Rocker has two years of eligibility left at Vanderbilt which gives him unprecedented leverage.
The NCAA’s Name, Images, and Likeness (NIL) rules which allow student-athletes to be compensated for their personal marketability place him in a position where he could make more in endorsements than what the Mets were reportedly willing to pay in a signing bonus next season.
What happens if he goes back to college rises to the number one pick and becomes the cornerstone of a dynasty in the Bronx?
We’ve seen this act before with Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry.
This is risky business for the Kings of Queens. They’ve made plenty of bad front office multi-million dollar moves over the last two decades and now they want to go cheap…for real!
Rocker is not the player to be using as a crash test dummy for frugal and shady. He has options and is probably more than ready for a return to Vanderbilt and inevitable move up in the 2022 draft.
Sandy Alderson is now on the clock.