Mets’ 2021 first-rounder joins independent club

Sports

TROY, N.Y. — Right-hander Kumar Rocker agreed Friday to a contract with the independent Tri-City ValleyCats after failing to sign with the New York Mets last summer.

A 22-year-old right-hander who was a junior at Vanderbilt, Rocker was selected by the Mets with the 10th overall pick in last year’s amateur draft. Rocker was the only player among the first 29 picks who failed to sign, and the Mets lost the $4,739,900 slot value available for draft signings that was assigned to Rocker’s pick.

Rocker is eligible for this year’s amateur draft, which starts July 17, and his contract runs up until the draft.

He went 28-10 with a 2.89 ERA in 39 starts and three relief appearances at Vanderbilt, including a no-hitter with 19 strikeouts against Duke in the 2019 NCAA Super Regional.

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