MLB Draft: 3 who should be on the KC Royals’ short list

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KC Royals, Kumar Rocker
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Kumar Rocker, a righty from Vanderbilt, could be a steal for the KC Royals.

Kumar Rocker of Vanderbilt has been mocked to Kansas City in most drafts, and is a logical choice if he falls to the seventh slot. 

The Royals have focused on college pitchers the last few years, and they could continue that trend by selecting Rocker. (His name may sound familiar—he’s the son of Tracy Rocker, who played for the NFL’s Washington Redskins in 1989 and is now the defensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles).

Rocker began his career at Vanderbilt in 2019. In his three years there, he’s 28-10 with a 2.89 ERA, 321 strikeouts, and a 1.001 WHIP.

In 2019, Rocker pitched the first no-hitter in NCAA Super Regional History and recorded 19 strikeouts in Vanderbilt’s 3-0 victory over Duke. He was also named the College World Series Most Outstanding Player in 2019, when his Commodores defeated Michigan for their second national title in history.

In 2021, Rocker posted a 14-4 record with a 2.73 ERA and 179 strikeouts in 122 innings. He started the season well, but ended poorly, losing the final game of the College World Series to Mississippi State when he allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in 4.1 innings.

According to MLB Pipeline, Rocker’s fastball has been recorded between 93-96 mph and can reach 99 on occasion, but he has average command.

He’s the No. 6-ranked Pipeline prospect, and with the Royals needing to build up their pitching, Rocker could be an easy fit in the rotation with his potential.

Next. 3 catchers the Royals should consider drafting. dark

With the 2021 MLB Draft coming up Sunday, Brady House, Jackson Jobe, and Kumar Rocker are three prospects Kansas City must seriously consider if they’re available when the Royals pick.