When the Texas Rangers selected big right-hander Kumar Rocker below-slot with the third overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, it surprised nearly everyone. But it’s no surprise that the former Vanderbilt co-ace along with fellow Rangers farm hand Jack Leiter, has found his groove in the Arizona Fall League.
Rocker is getting his first taste of pro ball, and has begun to thrive in doing so after an initial bumpy start. That, of course, comes with the territory of making the jump to this level of play.
In his most recent start on Halloween, the Texas Rangers’ No. 8 prospect tossed three scoreless innings, striking out five AFL hitters.
Texas Rangers’ pitching prospect Kumar Rocker showing potential this fall
And here’s a video of Rocker getting Yankees prospect Jasson Dominguez out.
Overall, Rocker’s brief performance has been encouraging, even earning him a Fall League All-Star nod.
At soon-to-be 23-years-old, Kumar Rocker possesses an upside that is matched by few in the Rangers’ organization. And the fact that he’s eighth in the prospect ranking pecking order according to MLB.com is a testament to the talent and depth of Texas’ fully-rebuilt farm system.
Rocker will likely start 2023 in Single-A or Double-A, with the hope that his relative polish and big breaking ball will lead him to a quick path through the minors. Those pitches have already begun serving him well in the Arizona Fall League, as demonstrated by the videos above.
Though Rocker has some reliever risk given his injury history, that’s not something that should be on the Rangers’ minds, especially with his talent and the fact that he will start for now. With former Vandy teammate Jack Leiter also expected to begin 2023 in Double-A, it’s possible the dynamic duo could find themselves starting alongside each other once again, this time as Rangers prospects.
And that’s worth getting excited about.