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2021 MLB Draft: Jack Leiter goes No. 2 overall to Texas Rangers

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With the No. 2 pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball amateur draft, the Texas Rangers selected Jack Leiter, a right-handed starter from Vanderbilt.

Leiter entered the week ranked No. 2 on CBS Sports’ pre-draft top 50. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Leiter ranked No. 1 on the preseason list, and for good reason. He has a fastball that doesn’t take the stairway to heaven so much as it ziplines in, hopping over bats on the way to the mitt. That effect is achieved by a combination of its innate “rise”; the flat plane his release point and stature create to the top of the zone; and its mid-to-upper-90s velocity. Scouts would like to see him become more consistent with his secondaries, but there is a belief that he’ll be able to turn at least one of his breaking balls, be it his curveball or his slider, into a trusty outpitch before long. Leiter is held as intelligent and hardworking, and perhaps that shouldn’t come as a surprise given that his father, uncle, and cousin all pitched in the majors.

Leiter was eligible for the draft despite being a sophomore because of his age, as he turned 21 in April. This is the second time he’s been drafted, having previously been selected in 2019 by the New York Yankees in the 20th round.

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Vanderbilt has become a hotbed for big-league prospects. Entering this draft, the Commodores had produced 11 first-round picks dating back to 2011. Leiter joins a group that includes Sonny Gray, Walker Buehler, David Price, and Austin Martin, the No. 5 pick in last summer’s draft. Kumar Rocker, a fellow Vandy right, will likely to join the group later in the first round.

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You can follow along with CBS Sports’ 2021 MLB Draft live blog here.

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