Rangers draft Vanderbilt ace Kumar Rocker third overall a year after Mets passed on him

By , 105.3 The Fan

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - The Texas Rangers stunned the baseball world when they selected former Vanderbilt right-handed pitcher Kumar Rocker with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft on Sunday.

Rocker, 6-5, 245 pounds, was selected with the 10th pick in the 2021 MLB Draft by the New York Mets, who never ultimately offered him a contact over their concerns with the durability of his right throwing shoulder.

“We’re extremely comfortable with the medical review that our medical team has done. We're very comfortable with the medical review and that's why we drafted him," Rangers general manager Chris Young said Sunday evening, according to Kennedi Landry of MLB.com.

After failing to sign with the Mets, Rocker signed with the Tri-City Valley Cats of the Frontier League and re-entered the draft. In five starts with the Cats, Rocker was 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched.

Now with the Rangers, Rocker gets an opportunity to reunite with his former co-ace at Vanderbilt and Texas' top prospect, Jack Leiter. The Rangers selected Leiter with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft.

There was a time before the draft last season when a debate existed over which pitcher the Rangers should select with the pick. And now, the club has both pitchers.

Rocker went 14-4 with a 2.73 ERA and 179 strikeouts over 122 innings in 2021, his final collegiate season. He was a unanimous first team All-American and finalist for both the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy in 2021, when he led the nation in wins and strikeouts.

The Athens, Ga. native was a freshman on the Commodores' 2019 College World Series championship team, when he was selected winner of the CWS Most Outstanding Player.

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy Sports
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images