Kumar Rocker
Kumar Rocker looks to be one of baseball’s next great pitchers Peter Aiken / Stringer, Getty

Vanderbilt University is no stranger to producing great starting pitching. With former players like David Price, Walker Buehler, and Sonny Gray, Vanderbilt’s genes run deep in the MLB pitching world. Although those players are long gone, Vanderbilt has found their guy. Kumar Rocker standing at a staggering 6’5 and weighing 250 lbs, has been the real deal since stepping foot in Nashville.

At just 21 years old, Rocker is listed as MLB’s #1 prospect. Currently a junior, Rocker has dominated the competition. In just three years with the team, Rocker has posted a mind blowing 2.49 ERA in 151.2 innings. In 2019, Rocker became just the 8th pitcher to record a no-hitter in NCCA tournament history. His overpowering fastball which can reach speeds of 99 MPH is Rocker’s specialty. His ability to blow batters away can be seen in his career 195 strikeouts. When it comes to the other pitches in his arsenal, Rocker has lacked in the use of his offside pitches forcing him to find great command in his fastball.

Rocker’s lack of use of his off speed pitches is something many scouts are hesitant about. During his time with Vanderbilt, Rocker has found himself struggling when his fastball command isn’t there. The lack of a great second or third pitch is something Rocker must focus on if he intends to exceed at the next level. Many scouts believe that if Rocker can end up with a great coaching staff in the MLB, he will be able to develop these skills and be dominate.

Although Rocker is currently the #1 prospect, there has been no talk about where Rocker may end up. Many have speculated that Rocker would not fall out of his top spot and would be drafted #1 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The addition of Rocker would allow a team like the Pirates to build around their pitching and solidly a lineup around him that can produce runs. As the draft gets closer and Rocker’s junior year at Vanderbilt finishes up, it will be interesting to see how Rocker develops and compares to those other top prospects.

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