The New York Mets have maintained a first-place standing in the NL East behind the arms of Melanated Mound Marauders Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman. Walker was recently named as an alternate for the MLB All-Star Game.
The Mets are one of just two pitching rotations in MLB to send two brothers to the mound as starters every five days. In fact, it’s uncommon in MLB history.
The Seattle Mariners currently have Justin Dunn and Justus Sheffield, but they are like the little brothers to standout vets Walker & Stro.
The Mets haven’t had an abundance of Black pitchers, but when discussing brothers who tote the rubber since 1980, Dwight Gooden is probably the best to ever do it and he was the heart and soul of the Mets when he came up as a rookie in 1984 and struck out the sides in the All-Star game en route to captivating New York City and leading the Mes transformation from lovable losers to World Champions.
Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker was drafted by the Mets with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft on Sunday.
— MLB Draft (@MLBDraft) July 12, 2021
Considering Rocker’s incredible talents and the fanfare he received during a mythical college career that saw him strike out a record 19 batters in a no-hitter against Dukes in the super regionals of the College World Series in 2019; for the Mets to get him that low is a steal.
Kumar Rocker falling to the Mets with the 10th pick is a coup — and they’ll pay for it. While the top 10 has been full of guys signing for under slot, Rocker is expected to sign and likely to get paid like a top 5 pick. Mets are happy to get a player with his pedigree, ceiling.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 12, 2021
He’s definitely got the arsenal to be great.
According to the tennessean.com:
“Rocker throws hard — a high-90s fastball that can touch 99 mph — but his best pitch is undoubtedly his slider, which has exceptional movement.
He has a good mix of other pitches, including a cutter, curveball and changeup. He also got results: in 2021, he had a 2.73 ERA with 179 strikeouts, which led the country.
Rocker is durable. At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, he’s a highly physical pitcher who shouldered heavy loads with the Commodores and has no major injury history. And Rocker has the mentality needed to succeed in the pros.”
— MLB (@MLB) July 12, 2021
The negative reports on Rocker are obvious. Sometimes he gets hit hard and can give up runs in bunches. Those moments are not common and he has time to work on new pitches and better movement in the minors.
Similar to Triston McKenzie, Rocker’s fastball can flatten outut a plus is, he has control in the zone.
In Nashville, Rocker is known as “Mr. June ” thanks to his history of shutdown postseason starts. Fortunately for Rocker, he won’t have to be a savior with the Mets and endure the pressures that Gooden existed under.
The team from Queens runs New York right now and is leading the pack, while the Yankees are floundering to find themselves.
With Jacob Degrom at the helm and Walker basically guaranteeing himself a home with the Mets once his deal is up, it won’t take long for Rocker to make his way through the minors and join the Mets and add a dynamic, heat-hurling ace to their starting rotation or bullpen.
Rocker has the ability to be the Dwight Gooden of this era or the Lee Smith of this era. Either way, the Mets came off and New York has another Black pitcher who could take the city by storm.