Indian American baseball star pitcher Kumar Rocker, who was chosen with the 10th overall pick June 11 in the Major League Baseball draft by the New York Mets, has agreed to a contract with the club.
The report of the deal was first announced by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
The pact includes a $6 million signing bonus, which is significantly above the $4.74 million slot value of the pick, and slots right in between the fifth and sixth picks and this year’s draft, AmazinAvenue.com reports.
Rocker led his Vanderbilt team to the College World Series title in his freshman year of 2019, and to the decisive game of the CWS in 2021 before falling to Mississippi State.
The Indian American was named the 2019 Freshman of the Year for his performance (see India-West article here: https://bit.ly/3kcDDrW).
On draft night, Jeff Passan alluded to the bonus Rocker would command, mentioning he would have to get top five money to not go back to Vanderbilt for a fourth season, the report said.
The Mets happily obliged, as Rocker instantly slots in as one of the premier prospects in their system, it said.
Rocker who, despite falling down boards due to some inconsistent fastball velocity last year, went an impressive 14-4 with a 2.73 ERA and 179 strikeouts in 122 innings.
While that workload will likely preclude him from having a big impact on any of the Mets minor league teams in 2021, he will be one of the most exciting names to watch when he debuts in earnest in 2022, and beyond that as he works his way to the major leagues, the report said.
According to Wikipedia, Kumar’s father, Tracy Rocker, played in the National Football League, is a College Football Hall of Famer from Auburn University, and is the defensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. His maternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from India. His parents met when his mother, Lalitha, was a student at the University of Maryland and his father was playing for the Washington Redskins.