We’ve been waiting since last July to find out what would happen to one-time-Mets-pick-turned-unsigned pitcher Kumar Rocker. We finally have an answer.
Kumar Rocker will enter July’s draft after pitching in the Frontier League. Unsigned players going the Indy Ball route isn’t completely unheard of; so this isn’t a complete surprise. In fact, this was always considered to be the most likely of the avenues that Rocker could take. But now we have the specifics: Kumar Rocker is a member of the Tri-Valley Valleycats and teams who want to see him will have to travel to Troy, New York to do so. There’s nothing official yet about when Rocker will report to the team - it doesn’t appear that he is there yet - nor when he will pitch - though he’s rumored to throw a half dozen or so times before the draft.
The other main storyline is the dearth of pitching. It remains evident in the mock draft that Jim Callis released late last week. The first pitcher to be selected in this mock draft is prep RHP Brock Porter go to the Mets at #11. That’s followed by an interesting run through the teens consisting of a prep pitcher who shut down to prepare for the draft (Brandon Barriera), a college pitcher who is nearing a return to health after Tommy John (Connor Prielipp), a prep lefty who you’re not seeing very high on anyone’s rankings (Robby Snelling), the top prep pitcher who just had Tommy John (Dylan Lesko) and a college pitcher who is just starting to ramp up after missing the beginning of the season with shoulder soreness (Blade Tidwell). The first healthy college pitcher to go in this mock is Gabriel Hughes at pick twenty. Crazy.
Callis has the Twins selecting Jace Jung from Texas Tech with the 8th overall pick. The bat profile certainly works as a high selection, there is no doubt about that - and that’s a huge reason why Jung has appeared in my Top 10 ever since I started ranking prospects. But the defensive uncertainty is enough to make you uneasy. Jung would likely enter the organization as their top hitting prospect; but also a prospect with no clear defensive home. And that’s a little scary.
JEREMY’S TOP 10 PROSPECTS
No changes this week, but Prielipp throwing a bullpen next Monday could cause some moves next week.
1.) Druw Jones, OF, Georgia prep (Vanderbilt commit)
2.) Termarr Johnson, 2B, Georgia prep
3.) Elijah Green, OF, Florida prep (Miami commit) (Baseball America breaks down his game.)
4.) Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
5.) Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
6.) Jackson Holliday, SS, Oklahoma prep (Oklahoma State commit)
7.) Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola JC
8.) Connor Prielipp, P, Alabama
9.) Dylan Lesko, SP, Georgia prep (Vanderbilt commit) (Baseball America breaks down his game.)
10.) Jace Jung, 3B, Texas Tech
MOCK DRAFTS / PROSPECT BOARDS
- Baseball America - v3.0 (4/28/22) / (v2.0 (4/1/22) / v1.0 (2/10/22) / Top 300 (4/27/22) / Staff Draft v.1.0 (4/20/22)
- MLB.com - Callis Mock Draft (5/11/22) / Mock Draft (4/27/22) / Callis - Top 10 (12/15/21), Mayo - Top 20 (7/20/21) / Top 150 (4/25/22)
- The Athletic - Law Top 100 (5/5/22) / Law Top 30 (3/10/22)
- ESPN - Early Draft Rankings (7/26/21) ($$$ - ESPN+) / McDaniel’s Draft Rankings (2/24/22) / Draft Rankings 2.0 (4/27/22)
- Fangraphs - The Board / 2022 MLB Draft Rankings and Offseason List Primer (11/30/21)
- Prospects Live - v2.0 (4/21/22) / v1.0 (1/4/22)
- Just Baseball v1.0 (2/10/22)
- My MLB Draft (1/18/22)