Bold Prediction #3- Wyatt Langford wins AL Rookie of the Year
The talk throughout this offseason has been about Evan Carter. It should be that way after how he performed in October in helping Texas win the World Series at just 21-years old. It is assumed he has a job locked down as the Opening Day left-fielder, According to CBS Sports Carter is their number two pick to win the Rookie of the Year award next season. He is right behind Jackson Holliday of the Baltimore Orioles. I don't think either of them win the award though. I think it goes to Wyatt Langford who will likely not make the Opening Day roster, but will still make a major impact for the Texas Rangers.
I want to make this clear, this does not mean that I think Evan Carter will have a bad year. I think Carter can have a year where he hits .250-.275, has a .800+ OPS, and hits 15-20 home runs. That is a solid season. I think this means that Wyatt Langford could match Carter in batting average, surpass him in OPS, and hit 20-30 home runs hitting in the middle of the order.
Texas really lucked out in having Langford fall to them at number four. They benefited first from the draft lottery bumping them up from seven to four. Then they took advantage of the first three teams passing on Langford and drafted him. Langford might be the best hitter that comes out of that draft. He showed that potential in his brief time in the minors in August and September. He went from Arizona to Hickory to Frisco and ended the season with Round Rock. In the 161 at-bats between all those levels Langford finished with a .360 batting average, 10 home runs, 30 RBIs, 36 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases. He did all of that in just 44 games played. That is legendary stuff for someone who just turned 22 years-old last month.
The potential for Langford is immense. I do not think he opens the season with Texas. I think Texas returns him to Round Rock. If he plays well to start the season or an injury happens to a position player he will be the first player called up. If he comes up he may never go back down. He is a special player who once up he will play well and outshine all other American League rookies and win the Rookie of the Year award.