Rangers’ rookie class has a chance to be the best in franchise history

Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford could make rookie history in 2024.

Cincinnati Reds v Texas Rangers
Cincinnati Reds v Texas Rangers / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

Coming off a World Series win, most teams would be talking about who they were bringing back from the team that finally brought the trophy home. However, much of the fanfare for the Texas Rangers this spring has been over what the future holds with Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford set to play for the entire 2024 season.

Evan Carter already announced himself to the big leagues late in the 2023 season. After the Rangers pulled the trigger and called Carter up last September, he promptly posted a 1.053 OPS in his first 23 regular season games and slashed .300/.417/.500 during the Rangers' playoff run.

As for Langford, his exploits this spring have been well-documented at this point and he impressed so much that he made Texas' Opening Day roster despite the fact that he was playing for the University of Florida this time last year.

Now, Carter and Langford have a chance to be a part of the best rookie class in Rangers franchise history.

Rangers News: Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford could make history in 2024

It is not hyperbolic to suggest that Carter and Langford could go down as one of the best rookie tandems in baseball history. They are already heavy favorites to take the Rangers franchise crown in that department. The Rangers have had two Rookie of the Years in their storied history with Mike Hargrove winning back in 1974 and Neftali Feliz in 2010.

Hargrove had a nice season with an .819 OPS, but he won when voters cared too much about batting average and it is probably safe to assume that one or both of Carter and Langford will be better this season. Comparing guys to relievers is tricky and Feliz did save 40 games, but his 2.5 rWAR in 2010 seems like a pretty easy bar for these guys to clear as well. Yu Darvish, Ian Kinsler, Mark Teixeira, Rusty Greer, and Robbie Ross all had nice rookie years as well for Texas, but all could end up getting lapped by Carter and Langford in 2024.

In terms of teammate rookie tandems, there is some more competition league-wide. Just in 2022, the Atlanta Braves impressively had two players finish 1-2 in the National League Rookie of the Year voting with Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider, and both of those guys are quickly establishing themselves as among the best players at their respective positions. However, the gold standard to be may be the 1975 group on the Red Sox that saw Fred Lynn win ROY as well as MVP after he put up a 7.4 rWAR season followed closely by Jim Rice with 3.0 rWAR of his own.

What's crazy is that it would not be all that shocking to see Carter and Langford put themselves right in that conversation and eclipse all of those rookie classes when all is said and done. The rookie class as a whole in the American League this year is pretty nuts with Colt Keith, Colton Cowser, Junior Caminero and others in the mix, but the favorites to finish in the top two right now are Carter and Langford. Why rule them out of the MVP race at this rate?

Hopefully, Rangers fans understand how special this could be. Anything can happen and baseball is incredibly hard at the highest level, but Carter and Langford could combine to give fans a season that could go down in the history books.

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