Texas Rangers: Checking in on Dustin Harris, Jack Leiter ahead of 2022 Futures Game
Jack Leiter won’t be the only Texas Rangers top prospect in attendance at the 2022 ASG Futures Game on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Joining him will be seventh-ranked prospect (via MLB.com) OF Dustin Harris.
It’s a promising development for the Rangers, who also sent two prospects to the Futures Game in 2021 in pitchers Cole Winn and Cole Ragans. Their results were something of a mixed bag in that game, but that belies the greater point: attaining exposure as a potential future stud in the big leagues, which is what Winn and Ragans got last year and what Harris and Leiter will get to experience this year in Los Angeles.
Dustin Harris and Jack Leiter will represent the Texas Rangers in the 2022 ASG Future Game at Dodger Stadium
How are Harris and Leiter performing in the minors so far this season, though? They’ve had different kinds of years to date…
Harris is an incredible player development story. From unknown prospect acquired in the Mike Minor trade with Oakland back in 2020 to Top-10 prospect in the Rangers’ system, Harris has become a name to watch in the minors, and his rise is being rewarded with a trip to the Futures Game in 2022.
The 23-year-old outfielder has spent this season as Jack Leiter’s teammate at Double-A Frisco, where he’s been quite productive. An .818 OPS and 14 home runs in 269 at-bats backs that up.
Harris is renowned for his plus hit tool, which has really become refined in the minors with Texas. He may not be a well-known across MLB, but getting a chance to showcase his talents in the Futures Game could be really beneficial for him and his status not just as a Rangers top prospect but also a name for others to know going forward.
It’s been a struggle for Leiter at Double-A Frisco in 2022. The highly-touted right-hander has an ugly 6.30 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 14 appearances (13 starts). He had to miss a start due to arm fatigue not long ago, an issue that plagued him in college as well.
Leiter has had to learn how to adjust to higher level competition the hard way, but the important thing is that he is learning despite the poor results to this point. One positive from his game, though? 62 strikeouts in 50 innings, which is over a punchout per inning. This indicates that his stuff and talent remain evident. Now, it just has to come together.
The Futures Game will be a great opportunity for Leiter to once again showcase why he’s a top prospect in baseball, especially if he can get other top young players out from the Dodger Stadium mound. In fact, this could be the big break Leiter needs to get his professional career on the right track.