Langford arrives in Triple-A, promptly swats 4 hits

MLB's No. 13 overall prospect quickly acclimates to new level in Round Rock debut

September 20th, 2023

A little over two months after being selected by the Rangers with the fourth overall pick in the 2023 Draft, Wyatt Langford was stepping to the plate for his Triple-A debut. Though the No. 13 prospect in baseball had already surged through the previous tiers of Texas’ system, one might have thought it would take a few at-bats to get acclimated with the highest level of the Minors.

It ended up taking him two pitches.

Langford cut at the second offering he faced, legging out a broken-bat infield single for one of his four hits during a triumphant first game with Round Rock on Tuesday. He finished the night with three singles, a double and a stolen base for good measure.

It was hardly a surprising development for anyone who’s been following Langford’s first year of pro ball. After all, the former Florida standout was with High-A Hickory just 16 days ago. Having posted a 1.097 OPS in 24 games with the Crawdads before assembling even better numbers with Double-A Frisco (1.281 OPS, 10 RBIs in 12 games), Langford eventually finding his footing in Triple-A wouldn't be much of a twist ending.

Still, you at least had to think it would take some time to get used to a new level of professional pitching.

Based on the way he approached his first Triple-A at-bats, that line of thought already feels far-fetched.

After his first-inning single (which came on a 1-0 slurve) and flying out in the second, Langford laced a 2-0 four-seamer into right-center for his second hit of the night in the fourth. He doubled in the sixth, ripping a 2-1 sinker all the way to the wall in left. He tallied his fourth and final hit in the seventh, grounding a 1-0 slider to short for another infield single.

In total, Langford notched hits on four different pitches, in at-bats that featured a combined 11 offerings. If there was any truth to a player needing reps to familiarize himself with pitching in a new tier, Langford put that notion to shame Tuesday.

The successful Triple-A debut marked yet another highlight from an incredible two-month stretch for Langford. The hard-hitting outfielder proved too much to handle in Rookie ball after just three games. He was in and out of Double-A in the span of two weeks. Across four tiers of the Minors, Langford is slashing .374/.480/.707 with 27 extra-base hits and 29 RBIs.

All after being drafted just 73 days ago.

The next step for Langford will be to maintain momentum from his Triple-A debut through the final games of the season. But if his first game -- and how quickly it became a success -- is any indication, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.