2022 MLB Draft: Rangers agree to sub-$5.2 million deal with No. 3 pick Kumar Rocker, report says

The 2022 MLB Amateur Draft kicked off Sunday night with the top 80 selections. The Texas Rangers stole the headlines and surprisingly caught former Vanderbilt ace Kumar Rocker with No. 3 pick. Rocker was expected to go in the back half of the first round after undergoing shoulder surgery last September and starting in an independent league this spring.

“We are extremely comfortable with the medical examination performed by our medical team,” Rangers general manager Chris Young told MLB.com. “Clearly, Kumar was taken care of by one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the world. He was supervised throughout his rehabilitation. He is in good health. We are very comfortable with the examination medical and that’s why we drafted him.”

Rangers and Rocker already have a deal in place, according to the New York Post, and he will receive a signing bonus of $5.2 million. This is significantly lower than the $7,591,600 value for pick #3. Texas can now use the savings on other players, which was no doubt the plan: sign Rocker under the slot and use the savings to attract other quality players with later picks.

Last year, the New York Mets didn’t sign Rocker as their No. 10 pick. The two sides reportedly agreed to a $6 million bonus, but the team saw something they didn’t. didn’t like her physique and walked away. Rocker returned to the draft this summer, and the Mets received the No. 11 pick in this year’s draft as compensation. They used on Georgia Tech wide receiver Kevin Parada.

Our RJ Anderson gave Rangers a “C” for Rocker pick and ranked him No. 25 prospect in the draft class. Here is his scouting report:

He resurfaced recently in the Frontier League, running his fastball up to 99 mph and crushing indy league hitters with a 70-degree slider. Heraclitus said that no man walks twice in the same river, because neither he nor the river are the same. Even though Rocker was the same – and he isn’t, if only in age – the river has changed. The industry was already skeptical of it due to its late change and the potential control and durability issues created by its mechanical deficiencies; now there’s also the issue of last summer’s post-draft physique that prompted the Mets to bail out. We have to write that it’s silly to be obsessed with what could messing with Rocker’s arm in a draft where nearly every other top pitcher already has an elbow zipper.

Rocker had to settle for just under the agreed bonus last year, although a $5.2m salary is still pretty good, plus he can say he was the No. 3 pick a year after being the No. 10 pick. Only a handful of players have been in the top 10 twice.

Last year, the Rangers used the No. 2 pick on Vanderbilt right-hander Jack Leiter, the son of longtime big leaguer Al Leiter. Leiter and Rocker will now be reunited in the Texas agricultural system. Heading into the 2021 draft, Leiter and Rocker ending up in the same organization in a year would have been a shock, but Rangers managed to make it happen.

Neal T. Doss