The Texas Rangers selected Jack Leiter, with their number two overall pick in the 2021 draft. Jack Leiter, a starting pitcher out of Vanderbilt University instantly becomes the Texas Rangers # 1 overall prospect, knocking Josh Jung down one. With the selection of Leiter, the Rangers have selected a college player with each of their first round picks in the last three drafts.
Leiter, 21, is a right-handed pitcher out of Vanderbilt University. He was pretty dominant to say the least. He made 18 starts this season going 11-4 with a 2.13 earned run average across 110 innings pitched. He had an impressive 0.845 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched). He averaged 3.9 walks per nine innings and 14.6 strikeouts per 9 innings.
What does he throw?
He’s got a fastball that ranges from anywhere 90-95 mph and has topped out at 97. His opponents had a .122 average against his fastball this season.
He’s also got a slider, curveball and a changeup.
Jack Leiter had 20 consecutive no-hit innings in 2021 across three starts.
Everyone remembers the no-hitter that Leiter threw against South Carolina in a 5-0 win earlier this year. He had a stretch of 20 innings of no-hit ball.
With the chatter about Leiter wanting to sign with Boston, many Rangers fans were wondering if he’d sign with the Rangers. Two things: one, the Rangers wouldn’t have selected him if they didn’t think they could sign him. Two, Rangers GM Chris Young has no worries about that. So rest easy Rangers fans.
It will likely take the full slot amount of $7,789,900 to sign him.
Once Jack Leiter is signed by the Rangers where will he play?
My guess is they start him off easy and really watch the work load. We have to remember he’s already pitched 110 innings on the season. The Rangers aren’t going to overdue it with their top prospect. I’d say to start him in the ACL to get acclimated, then then to Low-A Down East Wood Ducks with him throwing a couple of games at each level. Possibly ending with the High-A Crawdads depending again on the workload. His pedigree alone should get him to Hickory right away but I think easing him in is the way to go.
It is safe to say that Rangers fans are happy with the pick and will sleep easy tonight.