It finally happened, Texas Rangers fans! We got Jack Leiter!
All of those mock drafts and debates over who the team would select at No. 2 overall have come to a fitting close, as the Rangers landed the best pitcher in the the 2021 MLB Draft class.
The way in which Texas brass made the selection, though, was quite dramatic.
The Texas Rangers selected Jack Leiter with the 2nd pick in the 2021 MLB Draft
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Lousiville catcher Henry Davis first overall, in a complete shock to everyone. That opened the door for the Texas Rangers to select between two of the biggest names in the draft: SS Marcelo Mayer and Leiter.
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Knowing how much Texas was infatuated with Mayer, it seemed safe to assume that his being available at No. 2 would make him a lock to become the newest Ranger. He was also rated as the best player in the draft as well.
Alas, that didn’t happen, much to our collective pleasant surprise and the Rangers ultimately went with the right pick at No. 2 overall in the 21-year-old Leiter.
The former Vanderbilt ace comes to the Texas Rangers with major pedigree and winning under his belt, having pitched in the College World Series in June. He finished 2021 with a 2.13 ERA and a nation-leading 179 strikeouts. He even tossed two no-hitters during the season against South Carolina and Missouri.
Yeah, this guy’s legit.
Never have the Texas Rangers needed alpha-type pitching prospects more as they continue to plow through a rebuild. Now, they have one in Leiter, who can pair with the rising Cole Winn as a lethal minor league tandem that should find themselves in the bigs in short order.
And yes, there were whispers about Leiter holding out for Boston. That didn’t happen either, much to our relief. Leiter does plan to sign with the Texas Rangers according to multiple sources, so expect to see him report to the farm soon!
A lot went into this selection, and it had to be an agonizing one for the organization especially as Mayer was there for the taking. But they got it right with Jack Leiter.
Maybe 2023 isn’t so unrealistic after all.