Tag Archives: Vanderbilt baseball

Jack Leiter RHP-Vanderbilt: 2021 MLB Draft Preview (video)

Leiter, the 2021 SEC Newcomer of the Year, blends a competitive nature with outstanding command to frequently dominate hitters in the SEC. The former 20th round pick of the New York Yankees in the 2019 MLB Draft now projects as a Top Five selection in the 2021 MLB Draft. The former New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year comes from a baseball lineage that includes his father, Al, a 19-year pitcher in the major leagues and uncle, Mark, who played 11 seasons as well.

In a conference loaded with high-end pitching talent, including teammate and future first-rounder Kumar Rocker, Leiter frequently topped the SEC’s pitching ranks during conference play. The Commodores continue to flood major league baseball with quality arms and Leiter’s right arm ranks as one of the best to come out of Nashville. Former teammate Austin Martin went fifth overall to the Toronto Blue Jays in last year’s draft and, in 2019, star outfielder JJ Bleday went fourth overall to the Miami Marlins.

Jack Leiter RHP-Vanderbilt 2021 MLB Draft Preview
Leiter posted an 11-4 record with a 2.13 ERA in 2021 on his way to SEC Newcomer of the Year honors. He projects as a Top Five pick in the 2021 MLB Draft.

Not since 2017, however, has a pitcher from Vanderbilt gone in the first round. That streak will end when either Leiter or Rocker’s names are called this summer.

Enrique Bradfield, Jr. CF-Vanderbilt: DN spotlight

Bradfield, Jr., the 2021 SEC Freshman of the Year, leads the nation in stolen bases (46 through 6-7-21), and has consistently gotten on base (.476 on-base percentage). His discipline at the plate has resulted in 40 walks through 58 games for the Commodores.

In addition, the All-SEC defender sports a .991 fielding percentage and has just one error on the year. Bradfield, Jr.’s foot speed routinely changes the approach for pitchers on a nightly basis. The American Heritage High School (Fla.) product is one of the most exciting players in the nation.

Enrique Bradfield, Jr. vs. Kentucky in 2021
Bradfield, Jr. (seen leading off first base versus Kentucky in 2021) currently has 46 stolen bases through 58 games.

2020 MLB Draft, Day 2, 6-11-20: Value PICKS (Video spotlights)

We go inside the games of five players taken on Day 2 of the 2020 MLB Draft who could one day make an impact on major league rosters.

Toronto Blue Jays 2020 1st Round pick, 5th overall: Austin Martin IF/OF-Vanderbilt

In the span of three seasons, Vanderbilt’s Austin Martin had a profound impact on NCAA baseball. As a sophomore, the former Trinity Christian Academy (Fla.) star batted .392 as the Commodores leadoff batter in 37 of the team’s contests. This came one year after the back-to-back All-SEC selection led the conference in stolen bases (22). The All-American third baseman started 52 games at the position in 2019, while also tallying 13 starts at shortstop.A probable Top 5 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, Martin started at six different positions in 2018. Martin finished his career with a .368 batting average.

Former Vanderbilt All-American Austin Martin finished his career with a .368 batting average, 43 stolen bases and 85 walks. In the process, he scored 146 runs.

Cleveland Indians 2020 MLB Draft, 5th Round, 154th overall: Mason Hickman RHP-Vanderbilt

On the way to a 2019 College World Series title, perhaps no player had more of an impact on the Vanderbilt Commodores run than Hickman. In fact, the former Pope John Paul II (Tenn.) star produced a knack for striking out batters down the stretch in 2019 and led into the early portion of 2020. After striking out 10 Michigan Wolverines in the Commodores CWS game-clinching victory, he began 2020 with a perfect 2-0 slate (0.48 ERA) through three starts. In back-to-back weekend outings versus Illinois-Chicago and Hawaii, Hickman struck out a combined 23 batters.

Hickman finished his career with a 19-2 record at Vanderbilt.