The New York Mets announced that the club selected right-handed pitcher Kumar Rocker from Vanderbilt University with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 2021 First-Year Player Draft.
Rocker, 21, was ranked by Baseball America as the fifth-best prospect and by MLB Pipeline as the sixth-best prospect in the 2021 Draft. He was ranked as the second-best pitcher, behind former teammate Jack Leiter.
The right-handed pitcher went 14-4 with a 2.73 ERA (37 earned runs/122.0 innings) with 39 walks and 179 strikeouts in 20 starts during the 2021 season. He led NCAA Division I in wins and tied Jack Leiter for the most strikeouts. During his three-year career at Vanderbilt, he posted a 28-10 record with a 2.89 ERA (76 earned runs/236.2 innings) with 68 walks and 321 punchouts in 47 career games (39 starts).
The Athens, Georgia native was selected to the All-SEC First Team this year and was a Dick Howser Trophy finalist as well as a Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist. He went 12-5 with a 3.25 ERA (36 earned runs/99.2 innings) with 21 walks and 114 strikeouts in 22 games (16 starts) during his freshman year when he was named Baseball America’s Freshman of the Year and to the SEC All-Freshman Team. He was named the College World Series Most Outstanding Player after going 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA as the Commodores won the 2019 title.
The six-foot, 245-pounder was originally selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 38th round of 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of North Oconee High School in Bogart, Georgia, but did not sign. His father, Tracy Rocker, played college football at Auburn University and played in the NFL with Washington. He currently serves as the defensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.
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