Can Wyatt Langford realistically start the season with the Texas Rangers?

Going into the 2024 season fans and media have been buzzing about Wyatt Langford and the phenomenal numbers he put up during his time in the minors last summer. Fans are eager to see if Langford's success can carry over to this spring.

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Langford was drafted fourth overall in the 2023 draft from the University of Florida and is currently ranked the number one prospect in the Rangers farm system after only a partial season in the minors. While in the minors Langford put up incredible numbers finishing the season with a .360 batting average as well as a .480 on-base percentage. Due to Langford's success, he has gone through the minors at a rapid rate and ended up finishing the season in Triple-A with the Round Rock Express. With Langford's early success, many fans are hoping he can replicate what Evan Carter did for the team last season in rejuvenating the offense while also being dependable on the field.

Who is standing in the way of Langford making the Opening Day roster?

Currently looking at the Ranger's depth chart their outfield is pretty shallow with only six outfielders on the roster as of now with Langford included. After not re-signing Robbie Grossman and Brad Miller this past offseason the Rangers will be looking to add more depth to their outfield which does give Langford a good chance to be on the 40-man roster come April.

Another off-season move that helped Langford's chances of making the majors to start the season is the loss of Mitch Garver who served as the team's main DH through the majority of last season. Since Garver signed with the Seattle Mariners this off-season the Rangers will need to find someone to fill the DH role. Langford most likely would not be considered to fill the role due to his exceptional ability in the field but the absence of a DH currently does give the Rangers an open roster spot that Langford could capitalize on.

Currently in the Rangers outfield the starters for the 2024 season as of now are Adolis Garcia in right field Leody Taveras in center field and the rookie Evan Carter in left field. All three of these players were exceptional throughout the 2023 season so the odds of Langford getting a starting spot over them to begin the season is highly unlikely. Most likely if promoted Langford will be serving as a backup outfielder along with Travis Jankowski and utility men Ezequiel Duran and Josh Smith.

The biggest factor that will determine if Langford makes the team to start the season or not is how he performs in spring training this month. After his debut in the minors last summer the Rangers are eager to see if Langford can sustain the success he had or if he still needs some time to develop. If Langford can perform both consistently at the plate and in the field this will drastically increase his chances of making the team for Opening Day. 

Overall Langford is currently on the fringe of making the team or starting the season in the minors. If he does make the team to start the season I would doubt that he remains in the majors the entire season. He will probably move back and forth between the majors and minors this season to make sure that he gets enough at-bats throughout the season. Langford will no doubt be a great player for the Rangers for years to come. It is now just a matter of when his career for the Rangers will officially begin.

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