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New York Mets won’t sign first-round pick Kumar Rocker

Jun 25, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores starting pitcher Kumar Rocker (80) pitches in the second inning against the NC State Wolfpack at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 25, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores starting pitcher Kumar Rocker (80) pitches in the second inning against the NC State Wolfpack at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets do not plan to sign first-round draft pick Kumar Rocker before Sunday’s 5 p.m. ET deadline, ESPN reported.

The 21-year-old right-hander from Vanderbilt was the 10th overall pick in the 2021 draft on July 11. However, a physical exam last week raised concerns about the health of Rocker’s arm, per the report.

Barring an unlikely last-minute reversal, ESPN said the Mets will walk away from Rocker and the pitcher will not receive a previously agreed-upon $6 million signing bonus.

The Most Outstanding Player of the 2019 College World Series, Rocker was named an All-American in 2021 after going 14-4 with a 2.73 ERA and 179 strikeouts in 122 innings.

If they do not sign Rocker, the Mets would receive the 11th pick in the 2022 draft as compensation. Rocker could either return to the Commodores for the 2022 season and re-enter the draft next year, or possibly play either overseas or in an independent league.

–Field Level Media