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Kumar Rocker, Mets’ 2021 first-round pick, to pitch for Tri-City ValleyCats ahead of 2022 draft

Kumar Rocker, the New York Mets’ first-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, agreed to terms with the Tri-City ValleyCats, the Frontier League team announced Friday. New York let the No. 10 overall pick go unsigned after reviewing his medical information.

The former Vanderbilt star Rocker will pitch for the ValleyCats — who play in Troy, N.Y. — ahead of the 2022 draft, where he is eligible to be selected again. New York has the No. 11 pick this year as compensation for not signing Rocker. The draft begins on July 17.

In response to reports that the Mets had concerns about Rocker’s elbow last year, his agent, Scott Boras, released a statement saying his client was healthy.

“Kumar Rocker is healthy according to independent medical review by multiple prominent baseball orthopedic surgeons,” the statement said. “Immediately upon the conclusion of his collegiate season, he had an MRI on both his shoulder and his elbow. When compared to 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 struck out 179 hitters over 122 innings in the 2021 season and finished with a 2.73 ERA in 20 starts. He helped the Commodores win the College World Series in 2019, where he was named the Most Outstanding Player, and they reached the championship series again a year ago before losing in the title game to conference rival Mississippi State.

(Photo: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

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