Trenton’s Wyatt Langford is one move away from the big leagues.
On Tuesday, the former Tiger and University of Florida baseball player made his Triple-A debut with the Round Rock Express of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
Langford, who got the start in left field, batted second in the order for the Express, who traveled to Tacoma, Washington for the first of a six-game series.
In his first official at bat, Langford reached on an infield single, breaking his bat on a hit deep in the hole at shortstop.
He then stole second, went to third on a throwing error by the catcher, and later scored on a passed ball as part of a five-run top of the first inning for his new team in Round Rock, Texas.
The team is named for Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who was nicknamed “The Ryan Express.”
Despite a 15-9 loss, Langford had his first 4-hit game as a professional, finishing 4-for-5 on the night. He scored a run, stole a base, and was left stranded at third base twice.
The loss dropped Round Rock to 85-59. They had a one-game lead in the PCL second half standings heading into their final six games against the Rainiers (Seattle Mariners affiliate), who host the Express for game two of the series tonight at 8:05 p.m. ET.
Langford’s rise has been rapid.
The Rangers’ No. 2 prospect made his Double-A debut with the Frisco RoughRiders just over two weeks ago against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
He was named the Texas League Player of the Week for Sept. 12-17 after batting .405 in 12 games with the Frisco RoughRiders. He had three doubles, four home runs, 10 RBI, and seven runs scored.
Last week, he slashed .500/.593/1.045/1.638 with four home runs, six RBI, five walks, four runs scored and a stolen base in six games.
In 147 professional at-bats, he is now batting .374 with 55 hits, 33 R, 10 HR, 29 RBI, 10 SB and a .480 OB% and a 1.187 OPS.
Baseball America’s latest prospect hot sheet now has him ranked No. 1 and is quoted as saying his performance is “reminiscent of Evan Longoria’s gold standard 2006 pro debut.”
After the draft, he only played three games with the Arizona Complex League (one HR, three doubles) before being promoted to High-A Hickory.
As a member of the Crawdads, he had a slash line of .333/.453/.644/1.097 over 24 games. He had eight doubles, two triples, six HRs, 15 RBI and seven steals.
The Trenton native, who signed with the Rangers for $8 million, led the Gators to a national runner-up finish by batting .373 with a .498 OB%, a .784 SLG%, 28 doubles, three triples, 21 home runs, and 57 RBI.