Could Kumar Rocker be the next great Texas Rangers Pitcher?
By Brian Sweet
With the start of the College Baseball season about to start, MLB Scouts will start making their list of top prospects for the MLB Draft this summer.
One name that should be on the Texas Rangers‘ short list for the number 2 pick is Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker.
No one had really heard of Rocker until he threw a 19 strikeout no-hitter against Duke in the 2019 Super Regionals.
Kumar Rocker might just be the alpha pitcher the Texas Rangers need.
There are some pros and cons that the Texas Rangers need to consider before drafting him.
One pro of Rocker is how fast his speed on his fastball is. You don’t see many college baseball pitchers reach the upper 90’s on a fastball. That by itself would grab some scout’s attention.
Another pro is his consistency with his pitches. If you watched that game against Duke, the commentators said he was putting on a “pitching clinic”. If you watch him when he throws his power sliders down low, they were consistently getting batters to chase them. MLB teams look for that in a pitcher.
These two things are what stick out as positives to MLB Scouts.
Kumar Rocker’s arsenal is dominant but limited, which could mean he could fall to the Texas Rangers at No. 2.
For all the pros, Rocker does have his downsides as well.
One of the major concerns about Rocker is his pitch arsenal. He only uses two pitches which are his fastball and power slider.
Most MLB starting pitchers have three to four pitches in their arsenal. This could be a turn-off for the Pittsburgh Pirates drafting him and cause him to drop to the Rangers.
Rocker would have to work on his change-up pitch so he has a variety of pitches at the next level.
Another concern that teams have is his weight. With the college stud weighing in at 250 pounds, he reminds me of CC Sabathia a bit.
If the Rangers were to draft Rocker, they would probably put him on a specialized program to get the weight down. Losing weight would help him with his speed and allow him to have a long career.
Overall, Kumar Rocker is a very good pitching prospect. Rangers fans would surely be ecstatic if he fell to the second overall pick.
I think Rocker could end up in the starting rotation here in Arlington one day. Could he be the next great Texas Rangers pitcher? The answer to that question depends on the Pittsburgh Pirates with their draft selection.