Langford stays hot, mashes two more home runs

March 3rd, 2024

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It’s not often that a 22-year-old prospect is the talk of the town on a team that just won its first World Series, but isn’t your normal 22-year-old prospect.

Langford, the No. 6 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, hit two home runs on Saturday afternoon in Texas' 14-3 win against the White Sox -- the latter being a no-doubter to left-center field that cleared the berm at Surprise Stadium. He also had a first-inning single off Chicago ace Dylan Cease.

“Everybody kept telling me that this guy can hit -- this guy rakes,” veteran reliever Kirby Yates said with a chuckle. “Well yeah, I mean, he kinda rakes. I’m glad I’m on this team, I don’t wanna face this dude.”

Langford's two-homer game comes after the 22-year-old had a home run on Friday against the Giants. Entering Friday, he was just 1-for-10 with a walk over his first four Cactus League games. Now, he’s got a .353/.450/.882 slash line, good for a whopping 1.332 OPS.

Neither Langford nor the Rangers hitting coaches were particularly worried about the slow start for the outfielder, expecting him to get back to being himself sooner rather than later.

“A lot of it was timing and getting back into playing,” Langford said of his relatively slow start. “The hitting coaches did a good job kind of helping me work through some things. It was really just the way my hands were moving. I had them a little lower than usual and they were coming through the zone a little lower, and I was missing under a lot of stuff. I just moved them up and that was really it.

“That's kind of how baseball is, I would say. As soon as you get one good barrel, that usually you get going.”

Langford, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft out of the University of Florida, had a .360/.480/.677 slash line across four Minor League levels in his professional debut last year. Now, he’s knocking on the door of the big leagues.

Manager Bruce Bochy isn’t shocked by Langford bursting onto the scene early, having watched him take live batting practice at Globe Life Field during the postseason last year and on the backfields throughout camp.

“Obviously he can hit,” Bochy said. “We saw what he did last year and he’s getting his timing here. You see what the man can do when he gets his timing. It's good for him to be swinging the bat the way he has the last couple days. Nice work by him. … He’s got a gift. It’s only a matter of time with him.”