The Yankees knew what they were doing when they drafted Jack Leiter in the 20th round two years ago. But they also couldn’t convince Al Leiter’s son to forego college. Pretty much everyone in college baseball outside of Vanderbilt wishes they had.
Especially South Carolina after Saturday.
Leiter issued a walk to the first Gamecocks batter he faced, Braylen Wimmer. After that, nothing. Not a single baserunner — 27 up, 27 down, with 16 strikeouts along the way. Leiter finished his no-hitter by striking out Wimmer, his 81st strike among 124 pitches on the day against the nation’s 16th-ranked team.
Back in 1996, Al Leiter pitched the first no-hitter in Florida Marlins history, also wrapping it up with a strikeout of the leadoff man, Eric Young. It would have really been something if Jack Leiter had struck out Eric Young Jr. to end his no-no, but alas, the younger Young was drafted when Jack was 3 years old and has been in the majors since 2009.
Suffice to say that the next time Jack Leiter is drafted, it won’t be in the 20th round, not least of all because the 20th round of the MLB draft doesn’t exist anymore.