4 Texas Rangers players who need to play well to secure a roster spot

World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Four
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Four / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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3. Jack Leiter

All eyes are on Jack Leiter this spring. It is his third spring training with the Texas Rangers and it is time for him to show results. He is Rule 5 draft eligible this winter. He needs to show that he can produce positive results in camp and once the regular season starts. Texas has been working with Leiter throughout his two seasons in the organization. It is time for him to show a return in the investment Texas has put on him. Leiter will make an appearance in the first game today out of the bullpen. I would expect him to make a few more appearances this Spring.

Leiter has the stuff to be a middle to top of the rotation pitcher. That is why he was drafted number two back in 2021. He just has to put it together. Patience will likely run thin with Texas if he struggles to another 5+ ERA like he has had in both 2022 and 2023. Leiter this season needs to show that he can pitch deep into games. He needs to show that he can attack hitters in multiple ways throughout a game. Leiter in 2023 had a bad habit of getting off to bad starts, rebounding in the second and third innings, and then progressively getting worse in the fourth through sixth innings. He never went more than six innings in a game in 2023.

This spring training I will be focusing on Leiter and his pitch efficiency. The strikeouts will always be there for Leiter. He struck out 114 in 85 innings in 2023. I want to see him have more 2-3 pitch at-bats and fewer 5 or more pitch at-bats. That is how he will get deeper into games. More 0-1 and 0-2 counts and fewer 2-2 and 3-2 counts. He does not need to let perfect be the enemy of good. Leiter in his first two seasons oftentimes seems to be trying to make the perfect pitch instead of the pitch that will get a hitter out. When he is out there focus on how many pitches every batter is making him throw to see what improvements he has made over the offseason. If he can be more efficient that will lead to him making his MLB debut sooner rather than later.