Rocker receiving Tommy John, ‘foresight’ of the Mets who withdrew the 8 billion won contract
In the end, was the New York Mets’ choice wise?
According to MLB.com,안전놀이터 the official homepage of the Major League Baseball (MLB) on the 17th (Korean time), Texas Rangers pitching prospect Kumar Locker (24) will be on the operating table. Rocker, who suffered a torn ligament in his right elbow, is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery (elbow ligament replacement surgery) soon. Since it is a surgery that usually requires a 12-18 month gap, it is expected to return only in the second half of 2024.
The reason why Rocker’s surgery is attracting attention is because of his history. Rocker, who graduated from baseball’s prestigious Vanderbilt University, was nominated by the Mets with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 2021 rookie draft. At the time, the Mets planned to pay a whopping 6 million dollars (8 billion won), but after checking his medical report, they withdrew their intention to contract. Local media also reported that ‘a physical examination revealed an elbow problem’.
Agent Scott Boras said, “As a result of a review by several prominent baseball orthopedic surgeons, Rocker is healthy. I couldn’t,” he protested, criticizing the Mets’ choice.
Kuma Locker at Vanderbilt University. Getty Images
After a short stint in the independent league, Rocker was drafted by the Texas Rangers with the third overall pick in the first round of the 2022 draft. Texas, which judged that there was no problem with his physical condition, paid a down payment of 5.2 million dollars (7 billion won). Rocker’s main weapon was a four-seam fastball that hit 99 miles (159.3 km/h). The perfection of his sliders and curves is also highly evaluated. He was ranked 9th in the 2023 Texas Prospect Rankings selected by MLB.com. However, he suffered a sore elbow after pitching six games (2 wins, 2 losses, 3.86 earned run average) in the minor league top single-A this season.
CBS Sports in the United States said, ‘Tommy John surgery these days generally requires a rehabilitation treatment period of 14 to 18 months. Each team tends to be conservative with their top pitching prospects,’ he said. ‘It’s likely that Rocker will miss until the second half of next season. That means his first full pro season could be in 2025 at the earliest.”