Texas Rangers prospect Kumar Rocker may have been the most intriguing prospect in the Arizona Fall League this year.
He had not pitched in the organization after being selected with the third overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, his time in the Frontier League accounting for all of his action this season. The Rangers had planned on using his time in the AFL to get him acclimated to affiliated ball, hoping to use this stint as a springboard to next season.
Texas Rangers prospect Kumar Rocker shows flaws, potential
Given that time off, it should not have been a surprise that he struggled out of the gate. He allowed three runs on three hits and seven walks while uncorking three wild pitches in his first two innings, failing to strike anyone out. His questionable command, which had been the biggest knock against him, had reared its head.
But Rocker also has the potential to be a front of the rotation starter, something that he has proven in his last two outings. He has allowed just one run on four hits and two walks over 5.2 innings, striking out eight batters. That is the pitcher that the Rangers had been hoping for when they selected him with the third pick.
Those four total outings show the two sides of Rocker. There is the side where he is just another live armed prospect with no command of his arsenal, one of hundreds that never reach the majors because they cannot harness their stuff. Then there is the side where he is a dominant force, someone who can mow down the competition with ease.
What does this mean for Rocker’s future? No one knows. It is likely that he falls somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, a potential late inning weapon because he cannot harness his stuff enough to be a part of the rotation. But there is reason to hope, and Rocker is showing why.
Kumar Rocker is showing why the Texas Rangers have such high hopes for him going forward. His time in the AFL has displayed his positives and negatives.