Selected in the first round (No. 3 overall) of the 2022 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers... received a $5.2 million signing bonus on July 26, 2022 from the Rangers... previously selected No. 10 overall by the New York Mets in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft and in the 38th round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies but did not sign either time... pitched in college at Vanderbilt after attending North Oconee High School in Bogart, Georgia... after not signing with the Mets, Rocker joined the Tri-City ValleyCats of the independent Frontier League and had 32 strikeouts in 20 innings in 2022, setting up his third Draft selection... Rocker made his Rangers debut with the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League in October 2022.
At Vanderbilt, Rocker appeared in 47 games from 2018-21, going 28-10 with a 2.89 ERA over 236 2/3 innings... he struck out 321 and walked 68... went 14-4 with a 2.73 ERA in 20 games as a junior in 2021... his 2021 season garnered a variety of honors and awards -- he was a unanimous First Team All-American, a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy and was named to the ABCA All-Southeast Region First Team... his 14 wins and 179 strikeouts led the nation in both categories, which made him second player since 1988 to lead the nation in both strikeouts and wins in the same season... was selected to the All-SEC first team and was selected as the District 3 Co-Player of the Year by the NCBWA... was a consensus Preseason All-American... in 2020, he was named the SEC’s top 2021 MLB Draft prospect by D1Baseball... his 2019 season as a freshman was one to remember as he helped Vanderbilt to the College World Series... he was named D1Baseball.com's Freshman of the Year and was Baseball America's Freshman of the Year... was named the College World Series' Most Outstanding Player, was honored by The Tennessean as its 2019 Sportsperson of the Year and was selected to both the SEC All-Freshman Team and the NCAA Nashville Regional All-Tournament Team... went 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA at the College World Series and set a Vanderbilt College World Series record with 11 strikeouts vs. Michigan... finished third nationally with 12 victories... struck out 19 batters and tossed Vandy’s first no-hitter since 1971 on June 8, 2019 vs. Duke... he was the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the super regional history and the eighth pitcher to toss no-hitter in NCAA Tournament... had verbally agreed to sign with the Mets for $6 million in 2021 but the Mets ultimately did not make him an official offer due to health concerns... the Mets ended up with a compensatory pick in the 2022 MLB Draft after failing to sign him.
Rocker underwent shoulder surgery in September 2021 and did not return to Vanderbilt, instead joining Tri-City in the Frontier League... with Tri-City, the right-hander made five starts, allowing 11 hits and three earned runs in 20 innings... Tri-City had previously been a Minor League team affiliated with the Astros before MiLB's realignment in 2020.
Prior to Vanderbilt, Rocker played both baseball and football at North Oconee... he was ranked as the No. 2 high school right-handed pitcher in the 2018 MLB Draft by MLB.com and was the third-ranked right-handed pitcher in 2018 class by Perfect Game... was ranked as the No. 8 overall player nationally in the 2018 class by Perfect Game... was a 2018 Rawlings-Perfect Game First-Team All-American and was voted the 2017-18 Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year... a 2018 Under Armor All-American... was the captain of his baseball team as a junior and senior... was the recipient of the John C. Rich Baseball Memorial Scholarship... opted to attend Vanderbilt instead of signing with Colorado.
Rocker was born in Watkinsville, Georgia and is the son Tracy Rocker, who was a College Football Hall of Famer at Auburn before a career in the NFL as both a player and coach... his uncle, David Rocker, was a 1991 fourth-round NFL Draft pick and defensive tackle at Auburn who spent several seasons in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams (1991-94)... Tracy Rocker was Washington's third-round pick in the 1989 NFL Draft and was selected to the NFL All-Rookie team in 1990... he spent two seasons with Washington (1989-90)... was a two-time All-American and three-time All-SEC selection at Auburn and was named the SEC Player of the Year in 1989, helping Auburn to a pair of SEC championships... won the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award in 1988... he was named to Auburn's Team of the Century in 1993 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004... following his player career, Tracy Rocker coached at a number of high school and college programs including Cincinnati, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina... he's also worked as a defensive line coach in the NFL with Tennessee (2011-13) and Philadelphia (2021-present, as of 2022)... Kumar Rocker's maternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from India... his mother is Lalitha Rocker
Rocker's MLB Draft history:
- 2022 - 1st round, Texas Rangers
- 2021 - 1st round, New York Mets
- 2018 - 38th round, Colorado Rockies