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#pounditTuesday, December 6, 2022

Jack Leiter stoked to team up with Kumar Rocker again

Jack Leiter throwing a ball.

Jul 28, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers number one draft choice pitcher Jack Leiter throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Kumar Rocker was surprisingly drafted third overall by the Texas Rangers in the 2022 MLB Draft on Sunday, and 2021 draftee Jack Leiter is happy to be reuniting with his former Vanderbilt teammate.

Leiter and Rocker were teammates at Vanderbilt in 2020 and 2021. They now have the chance to share the same mound with the Rangers in the majors one day. Leiter had a great reaction on Twitter after the 2019 College World Series Most Outstanding Player was selected by Texas.

“Let’s go! This guy is gonna be great! Now let’s get to work @KumarRocker,” Leiter wrote.

The Rangers drafted Leiter second overall in the 2021 MLB Draft. In 13 starts with the Double-A affiliate Frisco RoughRiders this season, Leiter has a 2-7 record with a 6.30 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 50 innings.

Rocker had a rockier road to becoming a Ranger. His financial demands likely led to the 22-year-old falling to the New York Mets at pick No. 10 during the 2021 draft. Rocker did have a $6 million agreement in place with the Mets, but the deal fell apart following a physical exam that led to concern over Rocker’s pitching elbow.

Ahead of this year’s draft, Rocker signed with a minor league team and seemed to have improved his draft stock after posting a 1.35 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 20 innings.

In his final season with Vandy in 2021, Rocker was 14-0 in 20 starts and had a 2.73 ERA with 179 strikeouts in 122 innings.

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