MLB Draft: Experts predict Kumar Rocker will land out West

After not signing with the New York Mets last year, Kumar Rocker is projected to land with a team in the AL West in the 2022 MLB Draft.

Last year, Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker was selected by the New York Mets with the 10th-overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. But, neither side could reach an agreement on a deal after the Mets had a concern over his right arm. Now, Rocker has entered the 2022 draft class.

But where will end up?

Baseball America and Fangraphs both projected that Rocker will end up in the AL West. No, it will not be with the Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, or Oakland Athletics.

They both project Rocker to be selected 13th-overall by the Los Angeles Angels.

Kumar Rocker projected to Angels in first round of 2022 MLB Draft

The Angels do make sense as a landing spot, considering the team has long had issues putting out a competent starting rotation in recent years. They have tried to land big-name free agents in the past like Gerrit Cole, but to no avail. The other best way to bolster the rotation is by adding top-tier prospects through the draft.

Rocker shined during his time pitching for the Vanderbilt baseball program, as he posted a 2.89 ERA, a 1.001 WHIP, a 28-10 record, 321 strikeouts, and 68 balls in three seasons (42 games, 236.2 innings). He was part of the 2019 College World Series team.

The Mets selected Rocker, seemingly increasing their already deep pitching prospect pool. However, concerns about the health of Rocker’s right arm was a cause of concern, and it resulted in neither the team or the pitcher to reach an agreement on a deal. The Mets receive the 11th-overall pick in this year’s draft as a result of being unable to sign Rocker.

Rocker pitched for the Tri-City ValleyCats of the Frontier League this year after failing to sign with the Mets and declaring for the 2022 draft. In five games, Rocker recorded a 1.80 ERA, a 0.750 WHIP, 32 strikeouts, and four walks through 20.0 innings.

Only time will tell whether Rocker will be wearing an Angels uniform to begin his career, or if he will end up getting selected before or after the No. 13 pick.

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