The 2021 MLB Draft is just over a month away, and seeing as the Texas Rangers are set to select second overall this year, excitement for the process is expectedly high.
While it’s unclear who the Rangers are ultimately going to target with this year’s #2 pick (some mocks have them going with local shortstop Jordan Lawler, others have them targeting one of the Vanderbilt Aces), at least one top prospect is doing everything in his power to secure himself a high selection this summer. Coming off another impressive outing on Friday, 21 year old right-hander Jack Leiter has all the hype and momentum you could possibly ask for.
Between Leiter and fellow teammate Kumar Rockers, Vanderbilt baseball has the top two draft-eligible pitchers in the world at the moment. Most mock drafts that I’ve seen have Leiter making it no farther than the Detroit Tigers at third overall, with Rockers falling around that 5/6 range. Both pitchers operate with a ton of velocity and a ton of stuff, looking like they’re ready to debut in the big leagues sooner rather than later.
In his most recent start, Leiter struck out 11 over the course of 6.0 one-run innings. Squaring off against one of the better college programs in the nation (Georgia Tech), Leiter looked comfortable on the mound, even tipping off the radar gun at 99 MPH:
A potential draft option for the Texas Rangers, Vanderbilt right-hander Jack Leiter just keeps on dominating.
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Seeing as the Texas Rangers top organizational need at the moment is pitching, and Leiter has all the physical (and mental) makings of a future #1 starter, I personally find it hard to believe that the front office would look elsewhere should he be available at #2 overall. While the aforementioned Lawler (who’s from Dallas!) is younger and plays an equally as valuable position in shortstop, I still think you’d be hard pressed to turn down someone as demonstratively good as Leiter.
He posted a 1.72 ERA across four appearances last season, and currently boasts a 2.22 ERA across 15 starts this season. His strikeout rate also sits at a mind-boggling 14.8 per nine innings. Simply exceptional stuff from the Vandy right-hander.
Here’s some highlights of his full start: