The 2021 MLB Draft is getting closer, and there is no clear-cut number one pick in the sense that no one is head and shoulders above the rest in terms of ability.
At 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, Rocker is big and has equally big stuff.
The stats have been there all year: in 2021, Rocker has a 13-3 record with a 2.46 ERA and 155 strikeouts in 106 frames with Vanderbilt.
He is built to endure a high workload, and there are high hopes in his right arm.
Final line for @KumarRocker 👇
— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) June 11, 2021
These three teams could really use Rocker in their farm systems.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
Any team in a rebuilding phase could use a pitcher like Rocker, and there may not be a team more willing to rebuild than the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Most of the Pirates’ best prospects are offensive players.
However, a team can never have enough pitching, especially a rebuilding one.
And you can be sure the Buccos would love to add Rocker’s upper 90 mph heat and excellent curveball and slider.
Kumar Rocker, 94mph Paint. 🖌️🎨 pic.twitter.com/cbW9ZpUnu6
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 11, 2021
Adding Rocker to the mix would ideally line up perfectly with the Pirates’ estimated time of contention, which is two or three years from now.
A talented arm like Rocker, with college experience, should take no more than three years to reach the bigs.
Pittsburgh has the first pick of the 2021 MLB Draft.
2. Colorado Rockies
However, it’s clear they need some pitching help at all levels.
And since they are a rebuilding team, or at least should be one, there is no guarantee that Marquez and Gray are around for the long-term.
They need a pitcher to build around, to provide some upside to that farm system, and to represent a hope for the future.
Rocker can be that guy.
Making it as a starting pitcher while calling Coors Field home is difficult, but if anyone has the talent to pull it off, that’s Rocker.
The Rockies have the eighth pick in the draft, so seeing Rocker landing on their lap is extremely unlikely, but possible.
1. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox have been heavily connected with Leiter, Rocker’s teammate in Vanderbilt.
However, if Leiter is taken before their turn, they will likely be more than happy to take Rocker instead.
The Red Sox are closer to contention than most of the top 10 teams.
In fact, they are currently in second place in the American League East and are contending in 2021.
A talented college pitcher like Rocker can be ready to contribute to the big league team in a year-and-a-half.
He has all the look of a fast riser, and that surely is something the Red Sox like.
Their pitching needs an injection of talent, and Rocker is supremely talented.