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Wyatt Langford’s Short Swing Generates Big Bat Speed — College Baseball, MLB Draft, Prospects

Wyatt Langford's Short Swing Generates Big Bat Speed — College Baseball, MLB Draft, Prospects

If you want to feel good about Rangers outfielder Wyatt Langford’s chances to be a special hitter, here’s yet another reason to feel optimistic: when it comes to generating exceptional bat speed and power from a very short swing, he stands out.

Langford’s stats in the majors so far may seem disappointing. He’s hitting .224/.295/.293. He has just five extra-base hits and only one home run in 31 games.

But with the release of Baseball Savant’s new bat-tracking data, we have yet another data point of how Langford’s hitting has a chance to be elite.

When it comes to generating exceptional bat speed from a short swing, Langford stands atop all MLB hitters.

Langford’s 6.8-foot swing length is the 19th shortest among the 221 players tracked. That’s helpful for contact ability. 

And as you might expect, most of the hitters with the shortest swing lengths are pure contact hiters. Luis Arraez has the majors shortest swing at 5.9 feet. He also has the slowest bat speed in the majors. Arraez is not trying to hit the ball out of the park, he’s focused almost entirely on making contact.

Most of the hitters in this realm are pure contact hitters with modest power, and very few of them have even average bat speeds. Among the 50 shortest swings, only Langford, Colton Cowser, Bobby Witt Jr. and Elias Diaz have a bat speed of 73.0 mph or higher (Langford’s is 74.0).

That 74.0 mph bat speed for Langford is 44th best among the 221 qualifiers.

Since we have bat speed to point of contact and swing length to point of contact, we can look at how quickly a hitter can accelerate their bat to their average bat speed at contact. To keep this simpler, we’ve converted miles per hour to feet per second, since the swing length is also in feet.

Rank Name Avg Bat Speed (fps) Swing Length (ft) Estimated Acceleration (fps/ft)
1 Wyatt Langford 108.49 6.69 16.21
2 Bobby Witt Jr. 110.28 6.95 15.87
3 Lane Thomas 105.55 6.68 15.80
4 Jacob Young 100.42 6.37 15.76
5 Ke’Bryan Hayes 105.22 6.71 15.67
6 Elias Díaz 108.11 6.92 15.62
7 Ian Happ 107.11 6.87 15.59
8 Bryan Reynolds 106.63 6.88 15.50
9 Jordan Westburg 103.82 6.71 15.47
10 Matt Chapman 112.72 7.30 15.45
11 Paul DeJong 105.67 6.86 15.39
12 Miguel Amaya 106.56 6.95 15.33
13 Michael A. Taylor 106.51 6.96 15.29
14 José Caballero 102.49 6.71 15.28
15 Mitch Haniger 105.52 6.92 15.24
16 Justin Turner 95.88 6.30 15.23
17 José Ramírez 109.21 7.19 15.19
18 Oswaldo Cabrera 100.69 6.63 15.19
19 Anthony Santander 109.49 7.21 15.19
20 Fernando Tatis Jr. 109.23 7.19 15.18
21 Shea Langeliers 107.72 7.09 15.18
22 Pete…

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