In a shocking and very exciting development, the Mets selected Vanderbilt right hand pitcher Kumar Rocker with the tenth pick of the first round. Rocker was often in the conversation for the first overall pick earlier in the year before his stock slipped a bit, but was still well inside the top-10 across most draft lists (7th on Fangraphs, 8th on Baseball Prospectus, 5th on Baseball America). A couple teams chose to reach down the draft board ahead of the Mets, allowing Rocker to fall into their lap.
Needless to say, this is a great get for the Mets. Throughout the pre-draft process, they’ve mostly been connected with lower-ceiling college arms or bats (Ty Madden, Sal Frelick, Matt McClain, among others), with rumors about an underslot deal for prep hitter Colson Montgomery also coming on strong late. Instead, the Mets got one of the most electric arms in the draft in Rocker, who has sky-high upside despite some issues with holding velocity during the 2021 NCAA season. Rocker will likely require an overslot bonus, so it will be interesting to see how this unexpected development affects the rest of the Mets’ draft strategy.