Possible Sox picks Leiter, Rocker lead Vandy to CWS berth originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Vanderbilt is Omaha bound with help from its pair of aces, Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker.
The Commodores clinched a spot in the College World Series with a 4-1 victory over East Carolina on Saturday. Leiter took the hill and was lights out, allowing two hits and one run in seven innings while striking out 10 and walking three.
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The 21-year-old right-hander improved to 10-3 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.10. He now has a whopping 166 strikeouts in 103 innings.
Leiter’s performance followed an equally dominant outing from teammate and fellow top pitching prospect Kumar Rocker in Game 1 of the super regional series. The righty outdueled East Carolina’s Gavin Williams — another coveted pitching prospect — allowing only three hits in 7 2/3 shutout innings with 11 strikeouts.
Rocker’s gem improved his record to 13-3 and lowered his ERA to 2.46. He ranks second in strikeouts this season (155) trailing only — you guessed it — Leiter.
So, why should this news interest Red Sox fans?
Boston owns the fourth overall pick in next month’s MLB Draft. There’s a strong chance Leiter and/or Rocker are available when the Red Sox are on the clock.
In our latest MLB mock draft roundup, three of six experts projected Leiter as the Red Sox’ selection. One had them rolling with Rocker. Multiple mock drafts since, including CBS Sports’, have Leiter heading to Boston.
Moral of the story: Sox fans may want to keep tabs on the College World Series when it gets underway June 19. Weeks from now, one of Vanderbilt’s aces could be the future of the Red Sox rotation.
The 2021 MLB Draft is scheduled for July 11-13.