2021 MLB Draft: Jack Leiter drafted second overall by the Texas Rangers

After 1 ½ years on West End, Vanderbilt ace Jack Leiter became Vanderbilt’s third top-five pick in the past three MLB Drafts.


Vanderbilt righty Jack Leiter was selected second overall in the 2021 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers. (Vanderbilt Athletics).

Justin Hershey, Sports Editor

Vanderbilt ace Jack Leiter was drafted by the Texas Rangers with the second overall pick in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft. Leiter was the first Commodore selected in Sunday’s draft. The righty became Vanderbilt’s eleventh top-ten draft pick since 2003—more than every other SEC East team combined. He also became Vanderbilt’s fourth top-five pick since 2016 and its 78th draftee in the last decade.

Leiter’s freshman season was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he emerged as a consensus All-American in his sophomore year thanks to his stellar 11-4 record. His career was highlighted by numerous scoreless outings, a dominant no-hitter in his first-ever SEC start and a 2.08 ERA. He also notched 179 strikeouts in 18 sophomore year appearances, the third most punchouts in a single season for a Vanderbilt pitcher. His 2.08 career ERA is third best in Vanderbilt history. His maturity, composure and incredible competitive edge likely set the tone for his first round selection.

“He is the same everyday whether it is academically, socially or athletically,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said of his ace. “He is low maintenance, mature. He gets to the facility and it’s full on go. He’s wired to compete every single day. He has thrown himself into the group, he loves competing for the team, he is very protective of the team.”

The son of former MLB All-Star Al Leiter will now have the chance to make the jump to the MLB after formerly being drafted by the New York Yankees in the 20th round of the 2019 draft. But he honored his commitment to Tim Corbin and Vanderbilt, amassing a career 13-4 record. He may now join the Rangers farm system as one of baseball’s top pitching prospects.

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