NCAA Baseball News

Florida baseball alum Wyatt Langford made MLB debut with Texas Rangers

Florida baseball alum Wyatt Langford made MLB debut with Texas Rangers

Former Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford made his major-league debut on Thursday, batting fifth for the Texas Rangers as the designated hitter.

He went 1-for-3 in five plate appearances, driving in a run with a sacrifice fly and drawing an intentional walk. His first hit showed off his speed as he beat a throw from Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson. Langford had a chance to walk it off in extra innings, but he grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded.

The Rangers still ended up winning and it’s clear that Langford is already one of the most respected young hitters in the league. Most 22-year-olds don’t get the free pass on Day 1, but the Florida product’s unprecedented rise through the minor leagues hasn’t gone unnoticed by other teams.

Langford is the 83rd Florida Gator to debut in the majors. Jacob Youing’s August debut with the Washington Nationals was the last.

Langford’s Career at Florida

Ranked the No. 144 overall player in the class of 2020 by Perfect Game, Langford joined the Florida Gators as a catcher. The FHSAA Class 1A state champion only got four at-bats as a freshman.

He transitioned to the outfield as a sophomore and took off at the plate. Tying the school record with 26 homers and slashing .355/.447/.719 led to a First Team All-American selection.

Langford entered his junior year as a consensus top-five pick and he lived up to the hype despite suffering a groin injury early in the year. He came back ahead of schedule and slashed .373/.498/.784 with 21 home runs and 57 runs batted in.

Drafted fourth overall, Langford is the second-highest Gator to ever be selected in the draft behind Mike Zunino — third overall in 2012. He left the program ranked sixth all-time in home runs with 47, fifth in batting average (.363), seventh in on-base percentage (.471) and set the program’s record for career slugging percentage at .746.

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