If you had told me the Texas Rangers would end up with both Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker a year ago, I would’ve called you crazy. The two best pitchers in the country? No way.
Now, though? The Vandy Boys are back. But make them the Texas Ranger boys.
Jon Daniels and Chris Young shocked the world Sunday night when they selected Rocker third overall in the 2022 MLB Draft. The once-dynamic pair of college aces are back together again, hoping to create some big league magic.
‘Vandy Boys’ Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter are reunited in the Texas Rangers organization
Rocker doesn’t come without his injury concerns, which is why the New York Mets passed on him last year after selecting him. But if healthy, his upside is tantalizing and could form the basis of an electric pitching staff going forward, along with Leiter.
The Texas Rangers reportedly loved Rocker the whole time in this draft, but what else do you say? Of course they did, hence the pick.
Signing under-slot saves the team money, allowing Texas to pursue other interests when they next pick in the fourth round (team doesn’t have a second or third round pick due to Marcus Semien and Corey Seager).
Leiter seems to love the selection, as he should!
Selecting Kumar Rocker also gives us an insight into what the Rangers are planning for in the near future: contention. In taking Rocker, Texas believes they’re about to turn the corner in their rebuild, because the big righty should be MLB-ready fast, as should Leiter. Two talented pitchers within a year or two of making their big league debut? The writing is on the wall: Jon Daniels and Chris Young are ready to go for it.
But baseball logistics aside, how cool is this?
Even if the Rocker selection was a major surprise, you can’t deny that looking at the above picture doesn’t make you absolutely ecstatic about what’s to come for the Texas Rangers in the very near future.
They didn’t get Elijah Green, Termarr Johnson, Kevin Parada or Brooks Lee like many pundits predicted, nor Jackson Holliday or Druw Jones, neither of whom were ever realistic options from the start. But they did get Kumar Rocker.
The Vandy Boys are now Texas Rangers, and that’s pretty cool.