MLB

New York Mets fail to sign No. 10 overall draft pick Kumar Rocker

Aug 1, 2021, 4:46 PM | Updated: 4:46 pm
Kumar Rocker #80 of the Vanderbilt pitches against Mississippi St. in the top of the first inning d...
Kumar Rocker #80 of the Vanderbilt pitches against Mississippi St. in the top of the first inning during game three of the College World Series Championship at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on June 30, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The New York Mets failed to sign their top pick from last month’s amateur draft, Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker, by Sunday’s 5 p.m. EDT deadline, over concern about his medical scans.

New York selected Rocker with the 10th overall pick and will receive an extra selection in next year’s amateur draft, the pick after the 10th choice, because of their failure to sign the 21-year-old right-hander.

The Mets lost the $4,739,900 slot value available for draft signings that was assigned to Rocker’s pick.

“This is clearly not the outcome we had hoped for and wish Kumar nothing but success moving forward,” Mets acting general manager Zack Scott said in a statement.

Rocker was a junior and is eligible to return to Vanderbilt for his senior season.

“Kumar Rocker is healthy according to independent medical review by multiple prominent baseball orthopedic surgeons,” his representative, Scott Boras, said in a statement. “Immediately upon conclusion of his collegiate season, he had an MRI on both his shoulder and his elbow. When compared with his 2018 MRIs, the medical experts found no significant change. Kumar requires no medical attention and will continue to pitch in the regular course as he prepares to begin his professional career.”

Rocker was the only player among the first 29 first-round picks who failed to sign.

Two players finalized agreements on the final day.

Arizona signed Jordan Lawair, a shortstop from Jesuit College Prep in Texas, for $6,713,300, and Miami signed Marlins, Kahlil Watson, a shortstop from Wake Forest High School in North Carolina, for $4,540,790.

This year’s amateur draft was cut from 40 rounds to 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last year’s draft was reduced to five rounds.

The Mets spent $3,407,900 of the $4,286,400 remaining in their signing bonus pool, reaching agreements with their other nine picks in the first round. Failing to sign Rocker left $878,500 unspent.

Texas signed Oregon right-hander Aaron Zavala, the 38th overall pick, for $830,000.

The second-highest pick who failed to sign was Florida outfielder Fabian Jud, also a junior, who was selected by Boston 40th overall.

Pittsburgh signed right-hander Owen Kellington, a high school pitcher for Vermont, for $600,000 after taking him 102nd.

MLB

Boston Red Sox right fielder Hunter Renfroe (10) reaches for the ball, hit by Tampa Bay Rays Kevin ...
Associated Press

Ground Rule Trouble: Red Sox bounce Rays in 13 on odd call

Saved by an obscure rule and a bounce that was weird even for quirky Fenway Park, the Red Sox staggered Tampa Bay 6-4 Sunday night.
13 days ago
Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger (35) is congratulated by Gavin Lux after scoring against the Sa...
Associated Press

Dodgers even series with blowout Game 2 victory over Giants

The Los Angeles Dodgers bounced back with a lopsided victory in game 2 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants.
14 days ago
Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez, left, celebrates with relief pitcher Garrett Whitlock aft...
Associated Press

Red Sox begin MLB playoffs by eliminating Yankees in AL wild-card game

The Boston Red Sox will now open up a best-of-five series against the AL East Division winner Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS on Thursday.
18 days ago
Light stands from a baseball field being built near the Field of Dreams movie site, rear, are seen ...
Associated Press

Field of Dreams: Inspired by 1989 film, MLB makes Iowa debut

One of the most famous cornfields in Hollywood history finally gets the opportunity to host a real Major League Baseball game.
2 months ago
Franmil Reyes #32 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a three ...
Associated Press

Cleveland baseball goes from Indians to Guardians after 106 years

The ballclub announced the name change Friday with a video on Twitter, ending months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist.
3 months ago
Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani watches his solo home run during the third inning of the team's b...
Associated Press

Shohei Ohtani is AL starting pitcher, bats leadoff in All-Star Game

Shohei Ohtani will be the American League’s starting pitcher in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game and will bat leadoff as a DH.
3 months ago
New York Mets fail to sign No. 10 overall draft pick Kumar Rocker