On Saturday, Texas Rangers‘ top prospect Jack Leiter made his first ever professional start for the Frisco RoughRiders. Leiter took the mound to face the Arkansas Travelers (the Double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners). And it’s safe to say he lived up to the hype.
Leiter picked up where he left off at Vanderbilt, as he quickly settled in by recording a strikeout against the second batter that he faced. He struck out Mariners’ prospect Cade Marlowe for his first professional strikeout of his career.
Jack Leiter was lights out in his Texas Rangers organizational debut for the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders
In his 2nd inning of work, Leiter would walk the first batter but would strike out the next three batters faced as he recorded all three outs via the strikeout, which put him on four strikeouts on the day.
Leiter came back on the mound for his third inning of work which resulted in a similar outing as the top of the second inning. Leiter would walk the first batter, then struck out the next two to give him six strikeouts on the day. He would then find himself in some trouble as he allowed a RBI single to Cade Marlowe, which evened the score at 1-1. The next batter that Leiter would face resulted in a strikeout to end the inning as Leiter struck out Zach DeLoach for his seventh strikeout of the game!
By the top of inning four, Leiter’s day was over as he would be replaced by Tai Tiedemann in the fourth.
In his first ever professional start, Leiter went 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB and 7 K’s on 60 Pitches (33 of them for strikes) as the RoughRiders won 8-7. It was an encouraging debut for the stud young right-hander, who will be brought along slowly by the Texas Rangers in his development.
If Leiter can keep pitching at this high of a level, however, there may not be much minors time for the former Vandy Boy!