Rocker was the Mets' No. 10th overall pick in 2021 MLB Draft.
Rocker was drafted a little later than anticipated. The Mets initially landed Rocker with the No. 10 pick felt like a coup. Mets fans and analysts were astonished by the achievement.
Why weren't they able to sign this talented pitcher?
Evidently, the Mets didn't like Rocker's post-draft physical.
Rocker was initially offered $6 million by the Mets as a signing bonus, but it was subject to a physical exam. The Mets did not counter with a lower offer after that exam. Rocker was basically told by the Mets that he could sign for no bonus, a salary in the minor leagues (which isn’t much) or walk away and re-enter draft in 2022.
Rocker wisely decided to leave.
We don't know what the exam revealed at this time. Scott Boras is Rocker's agent and maintains that Rocker remains healthy.
Boras stated that Kumar Rocker is in good health following an independent medical review conducted by several prominent baseball ortho surgeons. He had MRIs on his elbow and shoulder immediately after his collegiate season ended. The medical professionals found no significant difference between his 2018 MRIs and the one he had in 2018. Kumar does not require any medical attention. He will continue his regular pitching as he begins his professional career."
Rocker will not be returning to Vanderbilt for the next season. Instead, he will be preparing for the 2022 MLB Draft. As compensation, the Mets will get the No. As compensation for signing Rocker, the Mets will receive the No. 11 pick in 2022 MLB Draft.