Ranking the pitching prospects in the Texas Rangers organization
By Chris Giles
Texas Rangers Pitching Prospect Rankings: Honorable Mentions
Jack Leiter pitched 110.0 innings at Vanderbilt (NCAA) before he was selected 2nd overall in the 2021 draft. He had 179 SO’s in 2021. Leiter and the Rangers decided that Leiter would go back to school and play his first professional games in the Rangers organization in 2022. It has yet to be determined what level Leiter will begin his professional career. One thing is certain, Leiter should move quickly through the organization and possibly make his MLB debut by 2023.
Ricky Vanasco was drafted in the 15th round by Texas in 2017. Prior to 2020, Vanasco pitched parts of three seasons in the lower levels of the Rangers organization. In 14 starts and 28 games pitched, Vanasco has compiled a 2.38 ERA, 116 SO’s in 83.1 innings. The Covid-19 pandemic and injury cost Vanasco two seasons of pitching. When he is healthy again, the Rangers will take their time with him and probably have him begin at A ball before moving him up to play against higher competition.
Dane Acker was obtained in the Elvis Andrus trade with Oakland. He was originally drafted by Oakland in the 4th round in 2020. He started two games at Down East (A) in 2021 and only pitched 6.1 innings. He did have 11 SO’s and only one BB, with a 2.84 ERA. If he is healthy in 2022, Acker will likely start the year for Down East.