Round 1, Pick 3: Jack Leiter – RHP, Vanderbilt
This may be the dream scenario, but with more and more uncertainty rolling in on the first few picks, I thought I would let the Tigers win the draft right off the bat. However, selecting Vanderbilt University product Jack Leiter at three is a true dream come true.
Leiter is the best arm in this year’s draft, and his stuff is incredible. The right-hander projects to be a future stud in the big leagues based on his stuff. We’ve all seen someone with that same title in recent years; his name is Casey Mize.
While Mize is not a true stud yet, he is looking like he will be something great. If the Tigers can luck into Leiter at third overall, then Avila gets himself a gold star on the report card. The Vanderbilt pitcher should be taken round one, pick one but the prep shortstops might steal that honor.
Leiter carries a four-pitch arsenal but has seldom debuted the changeup a whole lot in college. But with a 2.16 ERA, a 0.85 WHIP, and 156 punchouts over 96 innings pitched, he really does not need to show it. His fastball that sits in the mid-90s and lately has been more in the upper-90s has great carry to it.
Pair that with two electric breaking balls, and that’s one heck of a way to go. Leiter uses a 12-to-6 breaking curveball, and a slider could become a wipeout type pitch. Both pitches induce swings and misses and cause trouble for opposing hitters.
Leiter’s presence on the mound is menacing and makes him a treat to watch. He is going to profile out as a menace on a big-league mound in the future as well. His stuff is nasty, and the short way to put it, the Tigers have Casey Mize, who wouldn’t want another top-tier pitcher.