Friday on the Farm: Six Rangers pitching prospects who have had interesting seasons
(AP photo/Charlie Riedel)
ARLINGTON — No one likes to see a pitcher undergo Tommy John surgery, especially when it’s the third overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft.
But Kumar Rocker’s right elbow needed helped shortly after his 2023 debut with High A Hickory. He was pitching really well when his ulnar collateral ligament cried uncle in May.
He has been in Arlington since, first undergoing surgery and then beginning the rehab process at TMI Sports Medicine. He has been rehabbing alongside fellow right-hander Jacob deGrom, who had Tommy John in June and is no longer in the cumbersome brace all TJ patients are required to wear for eight weeks.
Rocker has killed some of his free time watching Rangers games at Globe Life Field.
“He’s a student of the game,” vice president Ross Fenstermaker said. “He loves baseball, he wants to be here and wants to see what it’s like.”
Speaking of being a student, Fenstermaker said that Rocker will soon be returning to Vanderbilt to continue his education. He will also continue his rehab there, and the Rangers will be stopping by Nashville for occasional check-ins and when he throws for the first time this winter.
Speaking of former Vanderbilt pitchers, Rocker’s former college teammate tops the list of five other Rangers pitching prospects, all right-handers, who have had their ups and downs this seasons.
That is likely one factor why the Rangers have slipped to 10th in multiple organizational rankings by industry publications, along with the trades of infielders Luisangel Acuna and Thomas Saggese.