Kumar Rocker one of the first pro baseball players of Indian origin to be drafted by NY Mets

Rocker once was considered a top candidate to go first overall, but his performance this spring caused him to slide down the draft board.

At the 2021 MLB Draft, the Mets selected Vanderbilt RHP Kumar Rocker with the 10th overall pick. Earlier this year, Rocker had been considered a first-overall candidate, but he fell down the draft board after a disappointing spring.

Rocker’s mother, Lalita, hails from India, where she was born. Before transitioning to coaching, Rocker’s father Tracy Quinton Rocker played professional football for the Washington Redskins for two seasons. During his time playing professionally for the Los Angeles Rams, David Deaundra Rocker also starred at Auburn.


Kumar is one of the first South Asians to be drafted into any US professional sport. The maternal grandparents of Kumar, the first pro baseball player to be of Indian descent, immigrated to the United States from India.

During his time with the Vanderbilt Commodores, Rocker compiled 28 wins and 321 strikeouts, including a shortened 2020 season due to COVID-19. “It’s all been a part of the process. I’m just excited to get picked and to be where I got picked,” Rocker said in his post-draft interview on ESPN. “It’s the ability to learn from the best, and I’m up for it. I’m really excited.”

During High School, Rocker showed an interest in both football and baseball, but his pitching skills really began to shine when he was a senior.