MLB Draft 2022: Kumar Rocker takes 3rd place against Texas in stunning match

Via Jordan Shusterman
FOX Sports MLB Writer

LOS ANGELES – On a sunny Sunday afternoon, 2022 MLB The draft began with the first 80 picks in front of an eager crowd thrilled to attend the second draft for fans in baseball history.

Here are the best – and most surprising – moments of the event:

Kumar Rocker ranked 3rd, OMG!

Please review what I wrote in my preview of the Rocker, Vanderbilt star independent skydiver and uncertainty surrounding his draft stock: “My best guess is that his agent, Scott Boras, guarantees him a signing bonuses in the range of $2-3 million, and the Rocker goes somewhere in the No. 20-40 pick. But I really have no clue.”

Good thing I included the last sentence – because neither of us had any clues!

Although some mockery kept the Rocker going in the first round, any idea of ​​where he would go in the first three picks would be laughed at until Commissioner Rob Manfred called out Rocker’s name.

Adding to the curiosity of this pick – a Rocker reunion in the Rangers organization with his Vanderbilt rotation counterpart Jack Leiter – was that Texas had no choice until the fourth round after from dropped the second and third round selections after signing the big free agency contract -ticket Marcus Semien and Corey Seager.

It looks like the Rangers will save some money with the Rocker pick, so the one they pick with pick 109 will be one of Day 2’s biggest storylines.

More importantly, the Rocker finally got to hear his name called near the top of the draft just like what he might have expected a year ago. I’d say he’s probably quite pleased with how this has turned out, as strange of a journey as it has been.

Unit beat Cade Horton Goes in 7th place

Note to pitchers struggling during the first few months of the college season: That’s okay, you can still place seventh overall! All you have to do is keep going one of the most epic post-production activities imaginable and dominate every outing in front of a crowd of scouts.

Indeed, the right-hander from Oklahoma – who had an ERA of 7.94 on April 21 – became the first pitcher selected in this year’s draft and went higher than even the biggest fans. he thinks he can get in tonight.

His story will be held for many years to come as the ultimate beneficiary of a bill of exchange held much later than in the past.

Cubs have a good one.

Confident high school prospects

It was truly a pleasure to see some of the top leads attend the manuscript in person, and some of this year’s attendees gave the audience some of the best quotes of the night after being featured. choose.

When asked what pirate Termarr Johnson said that “best player in the draft” received by picking him fourth.

After Brandon Barriera was picked 23rd overall by Torontohe made sure the teams that passed he knew what he thought of that decision.

Brave pick JR Ritchie insists “Nobody can beat me. I’ll bring another title back to Atlanta.”

Final, Marlinssecond-round pick Jacob Miller is happy to be picked by a team in a city like Miami:

Those are some confident teenagers. It will serve them well in professional football.

The Light ray did one thing Rays

Leave it to the Rays to give us the most shocking first round of the evening. They used the 29th pick on Xavier Isaac, a high school first three-legged athlete from North Carolina with enormous raw strength but extremely limited track record compared to his competitors. top painting.

Isaac missed all of last summer’s intros due to a broken leg, so teams had less of a chance to progress than some of his high school peers, and so he was included in the tournament. guess in the range from the third to the fifth round.

However, Tampa Bay was clearly confident enough to get him into the first round and signed him for the bottom kick, allowing the Rays to attract some more interesting college players later in the draft. drafters: sports quarterbacks Brock Jones (Stanford) and Ryan Cermak (Illinois State), as well as super-speeders Chandler Simpson from Georgia Tech.

It’s a weird selection sequence, but hey, it’s the Rays – do we really doubt them?

High school students on the right? No problem for the Braves!

There’s a lot of intrigue surrounding what the Braves draft strategy will look like after they get their 35th overall pick (teams can exchange competitive balanced picks) from Kansas City in a deal. translation last week.

That extra pick also comes with additional prize money, leaving observers around the league wondering what types of players Atlanta will be targeting with their four picks on Day 1.

With pick number 20, the Braves selected Owen Murphy, a sports pitcher from the Chicago area who was also a legitimate prospect as a smasher but has made strides big on the mound this spring.

Next up, in 35th place, is JR Ritchie, who is attending LA and is clearly ecstatic when selected by the defending champions.

The real surprise came in pick #57, where the Braves tripled in what is considered the riskiest demographic in the draft – the high school right hand. They brought in Cole Phillips, a tough pitcher from Texas who had Tommy John surgery in April but was considered the kind of talent that would go in the first two innings.

They rounded the night with Blake Burkhalter, Auburn’s right-hand man in 76th, which helped rebalance the class a bit. Burkhalter is one of the best downs in college baseball this season and is a pretty safe bet to hit the big leagues quickly.

That’s a lot of eggs in a historic wobbly basket, but this is the group that took it Ian Anderson third overall in 2016, so we can’t be shocked…and that went pretty well.

Brock Porter going to school? Or is it him?

Speaking of high school right-hand man, what happened to Brock Porter? The big right joined the draft in the readiness of the superiors and was ultimately not selected on day one.

Although he is believed to have had a remarkably high asking price to sign him off the pledge to Clemson, Porter is still predicted by nearly every outlet to go somewhere between 8-15 picks or so because of his wealth. His talent seems to be well worth the potential signing.

Instead, he remains in the table as one of Day 2’s most attractive picks, although it will require a team to commit a sizable amount of their bounty and thus dramatically change the strategy. their strategy in the remainder of the draft.

Porter just might be worth it, but there’s a good chance we’ll see him next spring at Clemson as one of the more exciting arms in college baseball.

Jordan Shusterman is half of @CespedesBBQ and a baseball writer for FOX Sports. He lives in DC but is a huge fan of the Seattle Mariners and loves to watch KBO, which means he doesn’t get much sleep. You can follow him on Twitter @j_shusterman_.

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