Draft prospect Kumar Rocker has signed with the Tri-City ValleyCats of the independent Frontier League, according to a club announcement. He’ll use the league as a showcase to demonstrate his health and current form in advance of July’s draft.
Rocker has been one of the more talented and well-known draft prospects in recent history. Regarded as a possible first-round talent out of high school, Rocker matriculated to Vanderbilt after not agreeing to terms with a major league team on draft day. The 6’5″ right-hander stepped right into the Commodores’ rotation and would spend three seasons with the team. He posted a 3.25 ERA over 99 2/3 innings as a freshman, capping off the season with an utterly dominant 19-strikeout no-hitter in an elimination game against Duke.
Vanderbilt would go on to defeat Michigan in that year’s College World Series. From 2020-21, Rocker teamed with Jack Leiter — who would eventually be selected second overall by the Rangers — at the top of the rotation. The 2020 college baseball season was shortened because of the pandemic, but Rocker returned with a 2.73 ERA and 179 strikeouts over 122 frames last year. Vanderbilt finished national runner-up, and Rocker headed into last summer’s draft as a possible top five selection.
More to come.