Minor League Baseball
- Future Texas Rangers ace Jack Leiter is continuing to figure his stuff out on the professional level.
- He proved on Wednesday why he belongs in the MLB with the best start of his career thus far.
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Jack Leiter is the future. The former No. 2 overall MLB Draft pick is the No. 15 prospect in baseball and is quickly establishing himself as an ace.
The best start of his career came on Wednesday evening and although it was unconventional, it was dominant. Leiter took the mound for the Class-AA Frisco Rough Riders in the second inning of a scoreless contest to complete a game that was suspended on Monday.
He proceeded to fan a career-high eight batters in 5 and 2/3rd innings en route to a 3-0 win over Witchita. Although he continues to work through some of the command issues that have given him a bit of trouble through the first few starts of his first MLB season and allowed four hits and three walks, he managed to keep runs off of the board for the first time since May 7th.
.@jackleiter22 exits in the 7th with a 2-0 lead! A new career-high 8 strikeouts!
His final line: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K 🔥 pic.twitter.com/wB6Eh7RMDd
— Frisco RoughRiders (@RidersBaseball) June 1, 2022
Things got off to a bit of a rocky start. Leiter allowed three of the first five batters to reach base on two walks and a single, but a double-play ball got him out of the jam.
From that point forward, he settled-in and sat down 12 of the next 14 batters that stepped up to the plate. Leiter struck out seven of the 12.
Over the short, but confident start, the 22-year-old threw 93 pitches, 55 of which went for strikes. Six of his eight strikeouts were whiffs, and two of them were caught looking.
One in particular stands out — his fourth. On a 1-2 pitch, Leiter threw a nasty breaking ball that was so gross it might make you vomit.
Take a look at all eight of Jack Leiter’s strikeouts:
The vicious off-speed pitch comes at the 15-second mark.
After the game, Leiter spoke to MLB.com’s Stephanie Sheehan and shared what he has been working on throughout the season after his ERA ballooned to 6.38 two starts ago.
“Command and control of all pitches, commanding it in the zone and out of the zone for chases,” Leiter said to MLB.com. “Each individual pitch has its own kind of quirk that you’re working on.”
Despite some of the former Vanderbilt ace’s struggles, he has faced 154 batters in his short professional career. He has allowed only one home run.
As Leiter continues to adjust to the pro level and develop, he is going to be unstoppable. The Rangers got a good one.