Scott Boras charms Rangers picking Kumar Rocker third in MLB Draft – Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Hot Mobile Press

The Texas Rangers provided the surprise of the 2022 MLB draft by picking former Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker with the third overall pick.

The Texas Rangers provided the surprise of the 2022 MLB draft by picking former Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker with the third overall pick.

AP

The Texas Rangers just used their third overall pick in the MLB draft for a pitcher who’s 22 and has had surgery so minor no one wants to talk about it.

Thank you Scott Boras, a part-time employee of the Texas Rangers, for making this dream possible.

Once again, the most powerful agent in all sports has set his demonic hooks on Rangers.

On Sunday night, the Rangers made the MLB draft interesting when they selected former Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker with the third overall pick.

This selection was to be expected as the sun rises in the north.

It is the second consecutive year that the club have had a top three selection; The team selected Rockers college teammate, pitcher Jack Leiter, with the second overall pick last season.

Drafting Rocker is the most exciting, stupid, intriguing, mysterious, and risky franchise pick in this MLB draft.

Rocker’s pick won’t settle for a home run. If you select Rocker, you’ll swing for multiple Grand Slams on a pitch.

Rocker will either be an all-star starting pitcher at Arlington, or he’s an arm blowout waiting to happen.

“No, I didn’t see it coming,” Rocker said to a handful of us on a Zoom call shortly after his selection. “I know I had a lot of interest with Rangers last year.”

The New York Mets selected Rocker with the 10th pick in the 2021 MLB draft.

However, during the Boras negotiation process, the Mets saw something on the physical exam of Rocker’s right elbow.

Contract talks between the two sides collapsed and Rocker never went to the Mets.

“All the people who are upset with the Mets for not signing Kumar Rocker are kind of missing the boat. Boras demanded $6 million for an injured player. Boras didn’t let his player get a pre-draft physical, which most other players get,” David Samson, former team president of the Miami Marlins, said on The Dan Le Batard Show last August.

Samson was the president of the Marlins from 2002 to 2017.

“But Boras hates that rule because he has his own doctors,” Samson said. “He wants the owners to believe them. (Mets owner) Steve Cohen faced Boras and said, ‘No, we’re not doing that.’ Good for him.”

Rather than return to Vanderbilt for his senior season, Rocker underwent surgery on his right shoulder last September. It has been described as “small in scope”.

Bet all your money that the man posting this injury description is none other than Dr. Scott Boras is.

Rangers don’t say what the injury was, other than it doesn’t appear to be a Tommy John guy.

“I can’t really talk about it bro,” Rocker said on the Zoom call Sunday night.

I asked him why he couldn’t just say what the injury is.

“I think Scott cleared the air, that’s all there is to it. It’s a blunt scenario,” Rocker said respectfully. “We got it all out”

Rangers GM Chris Young conceded Sunday night that the risk with Rocker was “medical”.

Both Young and Rangers Director of Amateur Scouting Kip Fagg went out of their way Sunday night to say they were feeling good about Rocker’s health.

Also, “I don’t want to get into the semantics of what it was,” Young said.

If this was the 63rd pick in the draft, such verbal maneuvers are okay.

If it was the 33rd pick in the draft, that’s OK too.

That was the third overall selection. And because the Rangers signed free agents Corey Seager and Marcus Semien during the offseason, they don’t have second or third round picks.

Rocker started in four games this season for the unaffiliated Tri-City Valley Cats in the Frontier League. He had 32 strikeouts in 20 innings, mostly to prove to interested MLB teams that he was sane and worthy of a first-round pick.

The only team that would pick Rocker in the top 10 picks was the Rangers.

With Bora’s considerable sales talents and the Rangers medical team’s evaluation of Rocker, the club had the information they needed to justify the selection.

“Very pleased with the medical evaluation our team performed,” said Young.

They always are.

As so often in such situations, the rangers saw what they wanted to see.

They only see tremendous talent because it’s there.

Rocker is the son of former NFL defensive tackle Tracy Rocker, who is currently an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rocker threw a 19-strikeout no-hitter for Vanderbilt in a 2019 NCAA Super Regionals. He can throw the ball consistently into the top 90s.

He’s the modern-day power strikeout pitcher.

The Rangers see Rocker join forces with his former college teammate Leiter in Arlington for a dominant 1-2. The last time Rangers had such talented starting pitchers in their system was Bobby Witt and Kevin Brown in the late ’80s.

It’s 2022 and the Texas Rangers have invested second and third draft picks in Vanderbilt Pitchers.

The first, ladder, is a safe and solid choice.

The second is a huge risk and a product of Scott Boras doing what Scott Boras does: selling his clients to the Texas Rangers.

This story was originally published Jul 17, 2022 8:39 p.m.

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist with 20 years of extensive experience in the Fort Worth-Dallas sports community. He has covered high schools, colleges, all four major sports teams, as well as the Olympics and the entertainment world as well. He combines dry wit with first-person reporting to complement an almost unfair head of hair.
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