Jack Leiter, Kumar Rocker Pump Cheddar As Former Vandy Aces Combine For Lights-Out Weekend

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The future is very bright for the Texas Rangers as their top pitching prospects continue to deal on the minor league level. This weekend in particular was an overwhelming success, highlighted by two former Commodores.

SURPRISE, AZ – FEBRUARY 21: Kumar Rocker #80 and Jack Leiter #83 of the Texas Rangers pose for a photo during Texas Rangers photo day at Surprise Stadium on February 21, 2023 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)

Jack Leiter had his best outing of the year and Kumar Rocker continued to shove. Once Vanderbilt teammates, the two combined for 12 shutout innings and 15 strikeouts while allowing just four combined hits in their respective starts.

Jack Leiter turned a corner.

Leiter, the former No. 2 overall pick in 2021, had an up-and-down start to his second full season. The newly-minted 23-year-old has a 5.19 ERA and 1-2 record over 26 innings pitched in six games, but got things going with his longest outing of the year on Friday night.

Currently with the Frisco RoughRiders, Texas’ Double-A affiliate, Leiter mowed down the Midland RockHounds. He did not allow a run on just three hits and two walks in six innings of work with seven strikeouts. 66% of his pitches were strikes, and he whiffed batters 21 times.

Kumar Rocker is well on his way.

Meanwhile, Rocker toed the rubber for the Hickory Crawdads, Texas’ High-A affiliate. His path to the minor leagues was unique.

Rocker was drafted eight picks after his college teammate in 2021 by the Mets. New York ultimately decided not to make an official offer after reviewing his medical information.

As a result, Rocker ended up playing a year of independent league ball before getting drafted No. 3 overall by the Texas Rangers in 2022. Also 23 years old, he is sporting a 2.70 ERA with two wins and a loss in five starts, with 37 strikeouts over 23.1 innings.

On Friday, Rocker allowed just one hit and two walks over six innings against the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, He added eight strikeouts and went on to get the win. 47 of his 68 pitches were strikes.

The Texas Rangers are in good hands arms!

As the two former Commodores mowed down opposing lineups, the Rangers’ future shined bright throughout the rest of the weekend as well. It was a great weekend for the organization’s pitching.

Owen White, Texas’ No. 3 prospect, went six innings with two runs allowed on five hits and two walks. Brock Porter, Texas’ No. 5 prospect, added four scoreless frames with four strikeouts.

All four guys are still a few months away from an MLB call-up, at the least. Still, there is a lot of reason to be excited about what is happening amongst pitchers in the Rangers’ minor league system!

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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