Don’t hold your breath on that just yet, but the Vanderbilt righty was on his A-game in his final NCAA start for the Commodores against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. Leiter finished the evening with six innings, allowing three hits and two runs while throwing 107 total pitches and touching 96 mph on the radar gun.
Sounds like someone is ready for the pros.
Jack Leiter confirmed once again why he should be the Texas Rangers’ selection this July if available
Leiter is widely expected to be a top-five pick in this July’s MLB draft, with various outlets mocking him to the Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox most frequently. The Pittsburgh Pirates seem dead set on selecting a shortstop, likely Marcelo Mayer from California.
Either way, the Texas Rangers look like they’ll have a shot at drafting a Vandy Boy, and that’s no small feat the way both Leiter and rotation mate Kumar Rocker have dominated the NCAA competition.
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Pitching on the big stage of the College World Series and thriving on that stage is something that has come to define who Leiter is: a tough as nails starting pitcher with tremendous upside and talent who can handle (and feeds off) high-leverage situations.
Man have the Rangers lacked an alpha presence like that on the mound in recent years.
Leiter is seemingly the perfect Texas draft prospect: a hard-nosed competitor who appears to be polished and has all the traits you want in a big league starting pitcher. The Rangers mostly lack legitimate pitching prospects (besides Cole Winn, of course) and would stand to benefit from selecting the 21-year-old college ace.
One thing standing in the way of a Leiter-Rangers pairing? The aforementioned Red Sox, who Leiter reportedly prefers to play for. The interest, as one can imagine, is mutual.
Still, if Texas is willing to pay well above slot value with their No. 2 overall selection, it would be difficult to envision Leiter rejecting such an offer and thus, making him a Ranger (hopefully).
Jack Leiter showed the whole baseball world why he’s ready to become a big leaguer in his last NCAA start. If the Texas Rangers were paying attention to the start, they should have their draft card written and ready to submit come July 11.