As Chaim Bloom and the Boston Red Sox continue to shore up the team's farm system, an important decision lies ahead.
The Red Sox own the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft on July 11 thanks to their abysmal 2020 campaign. It's their highest selection in 54 years, and they'll have a shot at landing a future star.
Could that future star be the son of former All-Star pitcher Al Leiter?
Baseball America's latest MLB Mock Draft posted Monday has Vanderbilt pitcher Jack Leiter going to Boston at No. 4. If you're unfamiliar with Leiter, the hard-throwing right-hander boasts a mid-90s fastball with plenty of movement and a nasty curveball that made a lot of hitters look silly at the college level.
A New Jersey native, Leiter was actually taken by the rival New York Yankees in the 2019 MLB Draft but decided to play at Vanderbilt, where he's excelled at the top program in college baseball. The 21-year-old allowed just three runs over 15.2 innings with 22 strikeouts in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and has a 2.12 ERA with 127 strikeouts over 76.1 innings in 2021.
Some actually considered Leiter a potential No. 1 or No. 2 pick, but there are concerns about his durability after he missed a start due to injury earlier this month.
Baseball America has three high school shortstops -- Jordan Lawlar, Marcelo Mayer and Brady House -- going ahead of Leiter to allow him to slide to Boston at No. 4. Considering the Red Sox don't have any pitching prospects on MLB.com's Top 100 list, it makes sense that they'd target a pitcher like Leiter ... or Vanderbilt teammate Kumar Rocker, who goes seventh in BA's mock draft.
Check out the video below for more highlights from Leiter's freshman campaign in 2020.