With family and local ties, Mark Leiter Jr. is one of the best stories out of this year’s Phillies draft class. The son of former Phils hurler Mark Leiter Sr., nephew of former big leaguer Al Leiter as well as Kurt Leiter who was also a pro pitcher and a product of Toms River North High School and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Leiter Jr. has been enjoying success since he was selected in the 22nd round this year.
In 13 outings to start his professional career, the 22-year-old had gone 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA before earning a promotion from the Gulf Coast League Phillies to Class A Lakewood recently. Leiter, who stands six feet tall and weighs around 195 pounds, has not allowed a run and has struck out 12 while walking only two in two starts (11 innings) since joining the BlueClaws.
Last week I spoke with the right-hander, who grew up as a Phillies fan, about his draft experience, coming from a baseball pedigree and his family’s hobby of collecting baseball cards. Read ahead for that full interview.
- Can you take me through the draft process this year? How were you tracking it? And were the Phillies on your radar or were they a surprise to take you?
Well, the Phillies were the team I hoped would draft me. They had seen me a few times over the last couple years in college and, so they were keeping tabs on me and how I was doing. I think a decent amount of different scouts saw me, from the Phillies. So, we were hoping it was the Phillies.
On the day of the draft, I didn’t know what was going to happen. You never know. We watched the first day, I watched the second day with my family and on the third day, my dad took me and my grandfather and my cousin golfing, so we didn’t watch at all. So, we were playing golf and I got the phone call and it was nice. It was a good experience, I was just with my dad and my grandfather and my cousin, playing golf. It was definitely cool. Continue reading PN Interview: Mark Leiter Jr. Talks Draft, Baseball Pedigree, Pro Transition