Wed, 22 Sep 2021

Mets fail to sign first-round pick Kumar Rocker

Field Level Media
02 Aug 2021, 12:05 GMT+10

The New York Mets did not sign first-round draft pick Kumar Rocker before Sunday's 5 p.m. ET deadline.

The 21-year-old right-hander from Vanderbilt was the 10th overall pick in the draft on July 11. However, a physical exam last week raised concerns about the health of Rocker's arm, ESPN reported.

Scott Boras, Rocker's agent, disputed the idea that the pitcher was in bad shape.

"Kumar Rocker is healthy according to independent medical review by multiple prominent baseball orthopedic surgeons," Boras said in a statement to media outlets. "Immediately upon conclusion of his collegiate season, he had an MRI on both his shoulder and his elbow. When compared with his 2018 MRIs, the medical experts found no significant change. Kumar requires no medical attention and will continue to pitch in the regular course as he prepares to begin his professional career."

Yet the Mets walked away from Rocker, and the pitcher will not receive a previously agreed-upon $6 million signing bonus.

"This is clearly not the outcome we had hoped for and wish Kumar nothing but success moving forward," Mets general manager Zack Scott said in a statement. "We're excited about the players we have signed and look forward to watching them develop and contribute to the organization in the years to come."

The Most Outstanding Player of the 2019 College World Series, Rocker was named an All-American in 2021 after going 14-4 with a 2.73 ERA and 179 strikeouts in 122 innings.

Because they chose not to sign Rocker, the Mets will receive the 11th pick in the 2022 draft as compensation. Rocker will forgo a return to the Commodores for the 2022 season and instead turn pro.

--Field Level Media

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