Detroit Tigers: Latest MLB Mock Draft leaves Kumar Rocker there at three

(The Tennessean)
(The Tennessean) /

The Detroit Tigers possess the third overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft this summer, and there are two prized arms expected to be selected early on. Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker have really turned some heads during their time at Vanderbilt University, leading them to be picked one and two possibly.

MLB Pipeline, which is MLB dot com’s area of prospect evaluation, has put out its latest mock draft. Prospect gurus Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo have come together to publish a first-round mock draft as the college baseball season rages on.

The draft headlines with the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting Jack Leiter to the surprise of no one. Leiter has been unreal, and frankly, if he somehow falls to third overall, the Detroit Tigers would be lucky to scoop him up.

With the second overall pick, the Texas Rangers are projected to select high-school shortstop Jordan Lawlar. Personally, I would rather have one of the “VandyBoys” or a college hitter, but if the Rangers want to leave more for the Tigers, by all means.

Which leaves the third overall pick next, where the Tigers can scoop up their guy…

The Detroit Tigers are projected to take Kumar Rocker at third overall in MLB Pipeline’s recent mock draft.

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According to Callis and Mayo, the Tigers are going to take Rocker at three, which will be a dream come true.

The big right-hander has disgusting stuff and would be a major compliment to the already exciting crop of young pitchers the organization has.

The Colorado Rockies took a flier on Rocker out of high school, but he chose to honor his commitment to play at Vanderbilt and join Tim Corbin and Scott Brown’s crew down in Tennessee.

Now, three years later, Rocker could very well be picked up to join the Tigers organization.

Oddly enough, when it comes to Rocker’s connection to Vanderbilt, the Commodores defeated the University of Michigan Wolverines for the 2019 National Championship. The Wolverines pitching coach that season was none other than Chris Fetter.

Fetter should have a pretty good handle on Rocker and what he can bring to the table based on his stuff that was put on display for his own eyes to see in 2019. However, in 2021, Rocker has had a little bit of a dizzy spell but has shaken it and returned to form.

Maybe not 19-strikeout no-hitter in a Super Regional Game against Duke form, but certainly top-five pick form. In 2021, Rocker has made 10 starts where he is 9-1 with a 1.55 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP. He has logged 64 innings of work, punching out 89 hitters along the way, issuing just 15 walks in the process.

Rocker sits 93-96mph on his fastball, that he can run up to 99mph as well. It has some ride to it, getting some nice arm-side run but can also be flat at times. His slider has great depth and sits in the mid-80s with a good bite to it.

He uses the slider to induce whiffs left and right. He has a third offering, his changeup, which is not one he throws often but is a pitch he can work to develop further on his way to the big leagues. The changeup sits in the mid to upper-80s with some sink but not great depth.

If the Tigers land Rocker at three, the fanbase should be incredibly joyful. While, yes, it is another pitcher, he adds to an impressive crop of pitching talent that is starting to poke its way into the big leagues.

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The Detroit Tigers (possibly) drafted Kumar Rocker at third overall is an exceptional pick.