Rangers fans are hoping Jack Leiter doesn't join the long list of Texas draft busts

Jack Leiter's initial impression in the big leagues has him on track to make the history books for all the wrong reasons.
Cleveland Guardians v Texas Rangers
Cleveland Guardians v Texas Rangers / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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After getting absolutely torched in his Texas Rangers home debut, Jack Leiter's major league outlook is extremely uncertain. Down in the minors, he fools hitters and his stuff looks lively and dominant. However, in his three starts in the big leagues, Leiter hasn't been able to come close to replicating that success as he has a horrid 16.39 ERA in just 9.1 innings of work.

At this point, Rangers fans have to be wondering if Leiter will ever figure things out now that Texas officially sent him back down the minors again after his dud against the Guardians. He still has time before Texas potentially decides to give up on him, but Leiter's struggles sure do have him trending towards joining what has become a long list of recent draft failures by the Rangers.

Jack Leiter's struggles have trending towards becoming yet another Rangers' draft mistake

When Leiter was selected second overall by Texas, the expectation was that he would be a stalwart member of their rotation of the future. Pitchers are always a risk, but Leiter was one of the surer bets in the 2021 draft class ... and now he is anything but that. That said, he still has a ways to go to be a worse pick than some of Texas' worst draft busts in recent years.

For example, the Rangers had two first-round picks in the 2010 MLB Draft because they failed to sign their first-round pick Matt Purke the previous year (who was also not good). With the 15th and 22nd overall picks in that draft, Texas ended up with outfielder Jake Skole and catcher Kellin Deglan. Skole never amounted to much and failed to reach the big leagues before leaving organized baseball in 2016, while Deglan hung on a bit longer and made it to Triple-A before getting released in 2022.

Guys who the Rangers could have drafted instead of them: Christian Yelich, Aaron Sanchez, Taijuan Walker, and Nick Castellanos. All big leaguers and all All-Stars. Woof.

Looking at higher draft picks, Texas picked Dillon Tate fourth overall back in 2015. After he couldn't/wouldn't make adjustments as a pro and his stuff declined, Tate got traded for Carlos Beltran despite his raw talent and now he's struggling to hang on as a reliever. Going back a bit further, Casey Kiker was the Rangers' 12th overall pick back in 2006 and he never did much as Texas was left wondering what could have been if Tim Lincecum, Max Scherzer or Clayton Kershaw had fallen to them.

In short, Leiter still has time to figure things out. He appears to be motivated to shore up his weaknesses and he is still just 24 years old. However, he doesn't have forever to establish himself as a big leaguer, especially with the Rangers having title aspirations in the coming years. If he doesn't, he will join some not-so-elite company in Rangers history.

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