6 Texas Rangers under the microscope in spring training

These five players will under close examination this spring as the team will be determining if they will have a role on this team going forward.
Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers
Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers / Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/GettyImages
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2. Owen White/ Jack Leiter

I decided to go with both White and Leiter in this spot. Texas is going into camp with a lack of rotation depth. So much so that they chose to bring back Adrian Sampson on the eve of camp. He will be another arm competing for a spot on the roster. Texas though needs to produce young pitchers in 2024. The success or failure of this season could ride on one of White or Leiter becoming a productive starting pitcher. Texas enters camp with four definite starters and all have had health issues in the recent past. If any of them have to miss time it will likely be White or Leiter who is called upon to fill in.

White comes to camp with more major league experience and more high-minors experience as he made two appearances for Texas last season and spent the last half of the season in Round Rock. It was a struggle for White as he saw his strikeout per nine fall dramatically from 2022 and his walks increase. He will need to pitch with more command and with a higher velocity as well. He enters camp healthy as he tries to reclaim the form he had in 2022 which had him rated as one of the top prospects for the Texas Rangers.

Leiter comes with a pedigree and a significant signing bonus as he was the number two pick in the 2021 draft. Several players drafted before and after Leiter have already made their MLB debut. Leiter struggled to be promoted out of Frisco. Several starts and stops for the former Vanderbilt star. He had to be shut down last summer as Texas worked to rebuild his mechanics. It seemed to work as he pitched with more command after being put back on the mound in September. The fastball is certainly there for Leiter. He will need to show he can command that pitch to both sides of the strike zone. He will also need to show improved secondary pitches. In his two seasons in the minors he has too often been hittable and had an issue with walks. 2024 will be the year Leiter shows whether he is a major league starting pitcher or a future reliever. That starts for Leiter in spring training with every bullpen he pitches and every game he appears in.