Rangers’ first-round pick Kumar Rocker makes professional debut with mixed results

With his lower arm slot and sling-y delivery, Kumar Rocker made his professional debut on Monday night with mixed results.

Pitching for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League, Rocker pitched a scoreless inning. That’s the good news. On the other hand, there were not a lot of strikes. Rocker walked three batters and threw only nine strikes in a 28-pitch inning.

After getting the first out, Rocker, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2022 draft, walked consecutive Peoria hitters on nine pitches. After a strikeout, he walked another before getting a ground out to end his inning. Rangers prospects Grant Wolfram, who struck out six in two innings, Daniel Robert and Nick Starr all pitched in the game. Robert ended up the loser in a 6-4 loss, allowing five hits and four runs in 1 1/3 innings.

Rocker was drafted 10th overall last year by the New York Mets but was failed on his physical over shoulder concerns. He went back into the draft after shoulder surgery and making five starts in independent ball. The Rangers surprised many with the selection. He did not pitch during the summer — nor did any of the Rangers’ 2022 pitching draft picks — but was in a throwing program to gear up for the Fall League.

Rangers prospect Lusiangel Acuña hit a home run homer for Surprise.

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