Leath signs with Rangers

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Photo By Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics

The Texas Rangers have signed Tennessee pitcher Jackson Leath, sources told Rocky Top Insider Saturday morning and Leath later posted on his Instagram.

The Rangers selected the Waxahachie, Texas native in the 12th round of the MLB Draft earlier this month and signed the right handed pitcher before the July 31 deadline.

Leath transferred to Tennessee from Blinn College prior to the 2020 season and posted a 1.45 ERA in 18.2 innings in the COVID-19 shortened season.

Leath was going to be a weekend starter for Tennessee in 2021 but tore his hamstring against Indiana State in the second weekend of the season. 

Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello called Leath “the most talented pitcher” on the 2021 roster and his loss was a major blow to the Vols’ depth on the mound.

The senior could have returned for one more season due to COVID-19 eligibility relief but decided to begin his professional career with Texas.

The signing bonus for the 12th round pick has yet to be released.

Leath was the last Tennessee commit, transfer or current player to decide whether to play professionally or for the Vols in 2022.

Players headed to professional baseball are Connor Pavolony, Jake Rucker, Max Ferguson, Liam Spence, Chad Dallas, Sean Hunley, Leath, Ryan Spikes, Brady House and Dayton Dooney.

Seth Halvorsen and Chase Burns join super seniors Evan Russell, Redmond Walsh and Luc Lipcius in coming to Knoxville to play for the 2022 Vols.

Here’s a look at the complete roster turnover of Tennessee baseball this offseason.

Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.