Texas Rangers Calling Up Top Pitching Prospect Jack Leiter to Make MLB Debut on Thursday

Jack Leiter, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, will take the mound when the Texas Rangers face the Detroit Tigers later this week.
Mar 8, 2024; Surprise, Arizona, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jack Leiter (71) pitches in Spring Training.
Mar 8, 2024; Surprise, Arizona, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jack Leiter (71) pitches in Spring Training. / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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The Texas Rangers are set to call up right-handed pitcher Jack Leiter, the team announced Tuesday.

While the move hasn't been made official yet, Leiter is expected to be selected from Triple-A Round Rock prior to Thursday's game against the Detroit Tigers. The 23-year-old has been penciled in as the Rangers' probable starting pitcher that afternoon, which would mark his major league debut.

Texas selected Leiter with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. He is currently ranked as the No. 8 prospect and No. 3 pitcher in the Rangers' farm system.

Leiter was a highly-coveted hurler coming out of Vanderbilt, ultimately jumping over fellow Commodores righty Kumar Rocker on teams' draft boards. Rocker wound up joining Leiter in the Rangers' farm system a year later, though, after he failed to reach a deal with the New York Mets.

Prior to the 2022 season, Leiter was ranked as Texas' No. 1 prospect and the No. 17 prospect in all of baseball.

Between 2022 and 2023, Leiter made 42 appearances with Double-A Frisco. He went 5-16 with a 5.32 ERA, 1.480 WHIP and 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings at that level before getting bumped up to Triple-A.

Leiter got shelled in his lone Triple-A start in 2023, but has found more success in Round Rock in 2024. He went 1-1 with a 3.77 ERA, 0.977 WHIP and 15.7 strikeouts per nine innings across three appearances.

The Rangers gave Leiter the call despite their five veteran starters being healthy. The rotation will get even more crowded once Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer return from injury, so it remains to be seen how long Leiter will be able to stick around.

Texas and Detroit will face off at 1:10 p.m. ET on Thursday. Leiter will be going head-to-head with veteran Kenta Maeda.

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Sam Connon


Sam Connon is a Staff Writer for Fastball on the Sports Illustrated/FanNation networks. He previously covered UCLA Athletics for Sports Illustrated/FanNation's All Bruins, 247Sports' Bruin Report Online, Rivals' Bruin Blitz, the Bleav Podcast Network and the Daily Bruin, with his work as a sports columnist receiving awards from the College Media Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Connon also wrote for Sports Illustrated/FanNation's New England Patriots site, Patriots Country, and he was on the Patriots and Boston Red Sox beats at Prime Time Sports Talk.