Kumar Rocker, Former Vanderbilt Star, Makes Independent League Debut

Videos by OutKick

Nearly a year since starring for Vanderbilt in the College World Series, pitcher Kumar Rocker was back on the mound.

Rocker, the 10th overall pick in last summer’s MLB Draft, debuted with the Tri-City ValleyCats of the Frontier League on Saturday. Rocker’s using his time in the independent league to prepare for July’s MLB Draft. Despite being selected by the Mets last summer, Rocker and the club failed to agree to a contract because of a failed physical.

In his Saturday debut, the 22-year-old Rocker faced 16 batters over four innings, allowing three hits, and two earned runs. He did not give up a walk and struck out six batters. Of his 60 pitches, 43 were strikes.

Because New York and Rocker failed to agree to terms by the MLB mandated deadline, he had the option of returning to Vanderbilt — where he was previously named College World Series Most Outstanding Player and All-American — for his senior season, or playing in an independent league. Since he went unsigned last summer, he is again eligible for the MLB Draft.

Scouts will no doubt be impressed by what they saw on Saturday. Rocker’s fastball topped out at 99 mph and averaged between 94 and 97 mph. His slider was consistently clocked in the mid-80s.

“It was a long year, a lot of work put in,” Rocker said following the game, via the Associated Press. “I’m glad to see good results. I had a process. When I got the start date, it was attack, attack, attack — go out there and do my thing.”

In three seasons with Vanderbilt Rocker compiled a 28-10 record with a 2.89 ERA. An All-SEC performer, Rocker tallied 321 strikeouts while in Nashville. He’s most famous for tossing a 19-strikeout no-hitter against Duke in the 2019 NCAA Super Regional.

The 2022 MLB First-Year Player Draft is scheduled for July 17th. Rocker’s expected to be among the first 5-10 selections.


Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF


Written by Anthony Farris

Leave a Reply