Langford to join Rangers at Spring Training in '24

No. 4 overall 2023 Draft pick among 10 prospects invited to big league camp

January 18th, 2024

ARLINGTON -- The era seems to be approaching quicker than anybody expected. The Rangers’ No. 2 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, will attend his first big league Spring Training, the club announced on Wednesday.

Langford, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft out of the University of Florida, finds himself with a prime opportunity to compete for a spot on the Opening Day roster, despite playing in the College World Series less than a year ago.

The outfielder made his professional debut shortly after the Draft, but he rapidly moved up in the farm system and finished the regular season with Triple-A Round Rock:

Rookie-level Rangers (three games): .385/.429/.846/1.275
High-A Hickory (24 games): .333/.453/.644/1.097
Double-A Frisco (12 games): .405/.519/.762/1.281
Triple-A Round Rock (five games): .368/.538/.526/1.064

The Rangers’ projected Opening Day outfield includes fellow rookie Evan Carter, Leody Taveras and Adolis García. Utility players Ezequiel Duran and Josh Smith also proved to be useful assets last season. But that doesn’t mean Langford doesn’t have a shot at making the Opening Day roster.

Texas still has a hole at designated hitter with Mitch Garver signing with the Mariners in free agency, and though Langford is a solid outfielder, he doesn’t compare to the three starters defensively. The DH spot may be his fastest path to playing time at the big league level; though if he continues hitting, anything is possible.

Like with everything, the 22-year-old Langford will have to earn his spot. If he can hit anything close to his overall .360/.480/.677 slash line in the Minors, he’ll be in Arlington sooner rather than later.

“I think the biggest thing is a true path to playing,” general manager Chris Young said at the Winter Meetings last month. “But we are putting the best team on the field to go win Major League Baseball games, and if that's Wyatt Langford, then it’s our job to put the best team out on the field. So those things aren't going to have that effect on us in terms of hard decision-making, because every game matters. The games in April matter too, and we want to put the best team on the field to win.”

Nine other prospects received invitations to big league camp:

  • 1B Blaine Crim
  • C Liam Hicks
  • RHP Jack Leiter (No. 5 prospect)
  • 1B Abimelec Ortiz (No. 14)
  • RHP Daniel Robert
  • RHP Emiliano Teodo (No. 22)
  • INF Davis Wendzel
  • LHP Grant Wolfram
  • OF Aaron Zavala (No. 11)