2022 MLB Mock Draft has Red Sox taking Kumar Rocker, ex-Vanderbilt star

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Could Red Sox land ex-Vanderbilt star Kumar Rocker in MLB Draft? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Red Sox don't have a top-10 pick in this year's MLB Draft, but they could select a player they were thinking about taking at No. 4 overall last year.

The Athletic's Keith Law released a new MLB Mock Draft on Monday ahead of the 2022 MLB Draft and has the Red Sox taking former Vanderbilt right-hander Kumar Rocker at No. 24.

"This one has some legs," Law wrote, noting that Boston has been "heavy" on Rocker since he joined the Tri-City ValleyCats of the independent Frontier League in June and has sent representatives to each of his starts this summer.

"They were serious about him last year until Marcelo Mayer fell into their laps at pick No. 4," Law added of Rocker and the Red Sox.

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Rocker eventually went 10th to the New York Mets after Boston took Mayer -- considered by many as the best overall player in the draft -- at No. 4. But the Mets didn't offer Rocker a contract after reviewing his medical information following a physical.

Rocker looks no worse for wear with Tri-City, however: The 22-year-old owns a 1.35 ERA with 32 strikeouts over five starts for the ValleyCats and sat between 95 and 98 mph with his fastball in his first start, per Law.

Law notes there's a "risk" associated with Rocker's medicals but adds the 6-foot-5, 245-pound righty has "No. 2 starter upside." So, if the Red Sox feel like gambling with their late-first-round pick, Rocker might make sense considering the amount of research they've already done on him.

The first round of the MLB Draft is set for July 17 in Los Angeles.