Here is why ace pitcher Kumar Rocker fell in MLB Draft
Kumar Rocker was widely recognized as one of the best prospects in this year’s MLB Draft. But he ended up not being selected until No. 10 overall rather than the top-5 like his talent would dictate.
So why did Rocker get passed over a few times and slip to the New York Mets? The reason is likely related to financial demands.
Rocker is represented by agent Scott Boras, who is likely to command top-5 pick type of money for his client.
Kumar Rocker falling to the Mets with the 10th pick is a coup — and they’ll pay for it. While the top 10 has been full of guys signing for under slot, Rocker is expected to sign and likely to get paid like a top 5 pick. Mets are happy to get a player with his pedigree, ceiling.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 12, 2021
MLB teams have limited amounts of bonus pool money they can spend on their top 10 picks in the draft. That means teams are not just taking the best player on the board. Rather, many MLB teams are trying to construct the draft they feel gives them the best value given their budget constraints. For some, that means passing on an accomplished pitcher like Rocker, who will take up a larger percentage of the team’s bonus pool, compared to other, cheaper players they could select.
Rocker went 14-4 with a 2.73 ERA and 179 strikeouts in 122 innings for Vanderbilt this season. He went viral two years ago for his 19-strikeout no-hitter in the NCAA Tournament.