Sources: Draft-eligible Rocker had ‘minor’ surgical procedure


Former Vanderbilt star Kumar Rocker underwent shoulder surgical procedure in September, receiving what his agent referred to as “a minor scope” on his proper arm, sources conversant in the process instructed ESPN.

Rocker, the tenth general choose within the 2021 draft, didn’t signal with the New York Mets after the workforce balked on the situation of his pitching arm. Now 22 and once more draft-eligible, Rocker has steadily climbed groups’ boards over the previous month after commonly hitting 98 mph together with his fastball in a dominant five-game stint with the Tri-Metropolis ValleyCats of the impartial Frontier League.

“Now we have a really clear understanding, after a minor scope, of Kumar’s medically documented well being, which has allowed him to carry out on the highest ranges,” stated Scott Boras, Rocker’s agent.

Rocker’s medical data, together with the process carried out by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, was distributed to groups in current days main as much as the July 17 draft, during which he’s anticipated to once more go within the first spherical. In a draft quick on pitching, Rocker’s mixture of pedigree and the stuff he confirmed with Tri-Metropolis might compel groups to think about him far sooner than they had been in current months.

Following a breakout efficiency as a freshman during which he was named Most Excellent Participant throughout Vanderbilt’s run to a Faculty World Sequence title, Rocker spent the subsequent two years as probably the most recognizable identify in school baseball. His ultimate season with Vanderbilt in 2021 was characteristically wonderful, with 179 strikeouts in 122 innings and a 2.73 ERA, however his fluctuating velocity involved groups on the high of the primary spherical.

The Mets had been initially elated he dropped to them and deliberate to supply a $6 million signing bonus — $1.26 million greater than the slot worth of the tenth choose. Involved by his medicals, New York by no means made a proposal. The Mets obtained the eleventh choose on this yr’s draft as compensation. Usually, groups want to supply 40% of slot worth to gather the comp choose, however the Mets had been exempted from doing so as a result of Rocker didn’t take part in Main League Baseball’s pre-draft MRI program.

The process was not thought-about main and didn’t contain Rocker’s rotator cuff or labrum, Boras stated. Rocker returned to the mound early within the yr to construct as much as his June 5 debut with Tri-Metropolis, which is 23-20 this season. In his 5 outings, he threw 20 innings, struck out 32, walked 4 and posted a 1.35 ERA.

Rocker’s ultimate efficiency Friday was his finest: 5 innings, two hits, no earned runs, one stroll, seven strikeouts and 44 strikes on 69 pitches towards the Empire State Greys, who’re 2-40.

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