New York Mets could get second chance with Kumar Rocker

Jun 25, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores starting pitcher Kumar Rocker (80) pitches in the second inning against the NC State Wolfpack at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 25, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores starting pitcher Kumar Rocker (80) pitches in the second inning against the NC State Wolfpack at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New York Mets‘ failure to sign Kumar Rocker after the 2021 MLB Draft was one of the low points of their season. They had built an entire marketing campaign around the selection and were ready to hand Rocker a signing bonus of more than $6 million, only to back out over questions about his medicals. Rocker and agent Scott Boras maintained that he was healthy and that his elbow and shoulder were the same as they were in 2018, but the two sides were unable to reach an agreement.

Due to their inability to sign Rocker, the Mets were handed the 11th overall selection in the 2022 MLB Draft. Ironically, Rocker could be available at that pick, giving the Mets a chance to rectify the circus that surrounded their failure to bring him on board.

New York Mets could land Kumar Rocker after all

There is already some speculation as to what Rocker will do this season. He may forgo college to pitch in the independent leagues until the draft takes place, following in the footsteps of the likes of J.D. Drew and Luke Hochevar. It is a gamble, but a calculated one that could allow Rocker to move through the minors quicker.

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Rocker is currently listed as the 30th ranked prospect on MLB.com ahead of the draft. That rank is due to the fact that he is a question mark right now, as there are those concerns about his elbow and shoulder. He will not be returning to college either, making a possible stint in the independent leagues the only way that teams could see if he is healthy.

Those rankings do not mean anything when draft time comes. Teams will make selections based on their own projections and to potentially save a few bucks for a highly thought of player that falls into the second round or later. Performances can move players up and down the rankings, as can injuries. There is a great deal that can change in the coming weeks and months.

It is entirely possible that Rocker will be around for the Mets to select once again, be it in the first or second round. He still has the potential to either be a solid arm in the rotation if his command improves or a devastating closer with his fastball/slider combo. And it is possible that he could be plying his trade in the Mets’ system after all.

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The New York Mets could get a second chance at Kumar Rocker. He should be available when they make their first selection of the 2022 MLB Draft.