Vandy

Left: Kumar Rocker (John Russell/Getty Images); Center: Enrique Bradfield Jr. (David Russell/Nashville Post); Right: Jack Leiter (David Russell/Nashville Post)

Three Vanderbilt baseball stars were recognized by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association this week as Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter were named District 3 Co-Players of the Year while Enrique Bradfield Jr. was named a freshman All-American, the university announced on Tuesday.

Two of the three District 3 nominees belonged to Vanderbilt, with Florida State’s Matheu Nelson receiving the other distinction. Rocker and Leiter were also two of three SEC players to be named Player of the Year for their respective district, joining Arkansas’ Kevin Kopps, who represented District 8.

It’s the second straight season that a Commodore has received the honor; JJ Bleday was recognized in 2019 as the Player of the Year. Both ‘Dores pitchers are also finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy, and semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award. 

Rocker has been a force on the Vanderbilt pitching staff all season. The righty leads the nation with 13 wins — just one shy of the Vanderbilt single-season record.  

A former National Freshman of the Year, Rocker ranks second in the nation with 155 strikeouts. He was named to the All-SEC first team following the regular season, marking the second time in his career receiving conference postseason honors. 

Leiter has been just as impressive this season. In his first career SEC start, the sophomore threw a no-hitter against No. 16 South Carolina, striking out 16 hitters. Leiter went on to work 20.2 consecutive no-hit innings, following up with seven no-hit innings at Missouri the following week and four no-hit innings at LSU the week after.

The 21-year-old righty leads the nation with 156 strikeouts; he has fanned 10 or more batters in nine of his 16 starts. Leiter was tabbed as the SEC Newcomer of the Year, and he was named to the All-SEC first team.

Bradfield Jr. picked up his second freshman All-American honors this year, becoming the seventh Commodore in the last three years to receive freshman All-American recognition.

Bradfield Jr. enters the weekend as the nation’s leader with 46 stolen bases, and he ranks sixth in the SEC with a .356 batting average. He was named the SEC Freshman of the Year, becoming the third ‘Dore in program history to win the award and first since 2011. He also received All-SEC first team honors and was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman Team.

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