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Texas Rangers sign No. 2 overall draft pick Jack Leiter

Jun 28, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA;  Vanderbilt Commodores starting pitcher Jack Leiter (22) pitches in the fifth inning against the Mississippi St. Bulldogs at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 28, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores starting pitcher Jack Leiter (22) pitches in the fifth inning against the Mississippi St. Bulldogs at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers signed right-handed pitcher Jack Leiter, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, on Wednesday.

The team did not announce contract terms, but ESPN reported the deal includes a signing bonus of more than $7.9 million, which would be the most for a drafted pitcher since the Pittsburgh Pirates gave Gerrit Cole $8 million in 2011.

Leiter, 21, played two seasons at Vanderbilt and posted a 13-4 record and 2.08 ERA, which included two complete games over 22 games (21 starts) and 201 strikeouts in 125 2/3 innings. In the College World Series, he was 1-1, beating eventual national champion Mississippi State 8-2 in the championship series and losing 1-0 decision to North Carolina State in a complete-game, 15-strikeout performance.

The other complete game came on March 20 when he threw a no-hitter against South Carolina in a 5-0 win. Six days later, he threw seven innings of no-hit ball at Missouri.

Leiter has a big league pedigree. His father, Al Leiter, pitched 19 MLB seasons and accumulated a 162-133 record. His uncle, Mark Leiter, pitched 11 seasons, and his cousin, Mark Jr., is in the Detroit Tigers’ farm system after making 47 major league appearances.

–Field Level Media