After an abysmal 2019 season, the Detroit Tigers selected 3B Spencer Torkelson with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.
Many believed the Tigers would follow up their 2019 campaign with another last-place finish in 2020 but that was not the case and the Tigers will be picking No. 3 in the 2021 MLB Draft.
Because of that, most believe the Tigers have missed the opportunity to select Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker, who is currently the top-ranked MLB Draft prospect. Rocker has a devastating slider and just about everyone anticipates him being selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the No. 1 overall pick.
At this point in time, I absolutely agree that Rocker will be the first pick off the board but nothing is set in stone as there is still a long way to go before the 2021 MLB Draft.
As noted by Jacob Markle of Bless You Boys, neither Casey Mize nor Spencer Torkelson, who were both recently selected by the Tigers with the No. 1 overall pick, were the frontrunners to be selected No. 1 this far in advance of the MLB Draft.
Of the players that could supplant Rocker as the No. 1 overall prospect is his own teammate, Jack Leiter. Leiter, who is also a pitcher, was 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA during the COVID-19 pandemic shortened 2020 season. Leiter was drafted by the New York Yankees in 2019, but he has since shot up draft boards and he will likely be the second pitcher taken behind Rocker. Or, maybe he ends up moving past Rocker, time will tell.
Another player who could move ahead of Rocker is Brady House. House, who plays both SS and pitcher for Winder-Barrow HS (Ga.), will likely be moved to 3B at the pro level unless a team loves him as a pitcher. House has great raw power at the plate and he also possesses a mid-90s fastball.
So, for those of you who have been dreaming of seeing Rocker in a Detroit Tigers jersey at some point, your hope has not been shattered quite yet.