Kumar Rocker and Agent Scott Boras believe the future of the right is up, so they don’t want to look back.
Rocker, who was introduced as the most famous active member of all time of the Tri-City ValleyCats, an independent team in Troy, is feeling healthy and strong, he said. He’s spent his odd last 10 months building strength and training in preparation for his third draft freshman player. Rocker said he’s been in the gym every day, whether it’s in Tennessee, California, or at Boras’ sports fitness center in South Florida.
He is looking forward to playing in a game for the first time since June 30. He’s less excited to talk about the reasons for his long absence from clubhouses. Boras left no questions about the 2021 draft as the Mets made the Vanderbilt star the No. 10 and then controversially never signed him.
In his first lengthy public comments since the Mets cited medical concerns when deciding against signing the $6 million deal, Rocker simply said his body felt “great” and had no concerns about his right elbow .
How he looks on the mound in Frontier League and how his medicine is viewed will determine where he ends up in the 2022 draft, but he said that’s not the immediate concern.
“I’m not here to show myself [major league teams] anything but pitch,” the 22-year-old from Georgia said Saturday via Zoom. “Just get out there and do what I love to do.”
According to Boras, there were “no concerns” about Rocker’s arm last year and none this year either.
In the months since the Mets walked away without a contract offer on Aug. 1, Team Rocker says he’s been consistently acquitted and gotten stronger.
“We have the country’s most prominent orthopedists who have repeatedly told us that Kumar is healthy and available,” Boras said. “Obviously after a year of building conditioning and strength, Kumar is in a very different physical state than he was a year ago because he’s had the opportunity … to do a major league routine and to focus fully on conditioning that year.”
Rocker follows a similar path as former Yankee James Paxton, who didn’t sign and played an independent ball in which he was managed by Pete Incaviglia – now ValleyCats manager.
Over the past year, Rocker has taken the advice of former royal Luke Hochevar, who was drafted by the Dodgers, didn’t sign, played in an independent league and then went No. 1 in 2006.
“I’ve actually spent a lot of time with Hoch, growing my faith, he’s actually a pastor,” Rocker said. “Well, I’ve heard a lot about him. He’s a great mentor and he took me in and kind of showed me the ropes.”
Rocker had dominated at Vanderbilt, where he was a unanimous first-team All-American and the second player since 1998 to lead the country in both strikeouts and wins. But his pace waned as the season progressed, raising questions, as did the Mets team doctors.
Scouts will be fanning out ValleyCats games, and Boras said Rocker could prove he’ll be “one of the elite guys in this draft.”
One last time.
“This will be my third draft,” Rocker said, “so [I’m] a salty vet.”
https://nypost.com/2022/05/21/kumar-rocker-wont-talk-mets-as-pro-career-starts-at-tri-city/ Kumar Rocker won’t be speaking about Mets when pro career begins in Tri-City