Jack Leiter of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch during a spring training game against the Colorado Rockies at Surprise Stadium on February 28, 2023 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The Texas Rangers No. 4 prospect according to MLB.com, starting pitcher Jack Leiter, struck out 10 batters and retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced for the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders as they beat the Amarillo Sod Poodles by the score of 10-4 Wednesday night.
Leiter got his second win of the season, advancing his record to 2-2 of the season alongside a 4.38 ERA. He went six innings, allowing four hits, one home run, three earned runs, walked one batter, and struck out 10, a career high, in his eighth start of the season.
The RoughRiders bullpen combined for three hits allowed, one earned run, no walks, and four strikeouts during yesterday’s win.
The RoughRiders also scored their first eight runs of the game yesterday in the bottom of the fifth, capped by Nick Tainelu hitting two home runs in the same inning. The first run of the game was a solo home run when Tainelu led off the inning, and after the RoughRiders batted around, he smacked a two-run home run.
The RoughRiders are now 15-19 on the season, while the Amarillo Sod Poodles dropped to five games below .500 at 15-20.
The third and final game of the series will be today at 7:35 p.m. EDT.
Leiter is in his second full season at the Double-A level and has pitched in 37 innings, recording 54 strikeouts, allowing 31 hits, walking 20 batters, and posting a 1.38 WHIP.
Last year, Leiter struggled in his first season of affiliated basebal,l as he went 3-10 with a 5.54 ERA through 22 starts. He pitched 92.2 innings, allowing 88 hits, 11 home runs, walking 56 batters, and struck out 109.
Leiter is the son of former Major League Baseball pitcher Al Leiter and was drafted by the Rangers as the second overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft out of Vanderbilt University. after his sophomore season. He signed on July 28, 2021, and received a $7.92 million signing bonus.
A few months ago, Leiter was invited to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Last year, Leiter played for the American League in the All-Star Futures Game at Dodger Stadium, throwing one inning in relief, retiring the side in order during his outing.
Leiter is ranked 79th on the MLB.com Pipeline in the Top 100 prospect list.