2023 College World Series Player Spotlight: Wyatt Langford


Image credit: Wyatt Langford (Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Wyatt Langford is unanimously considered a top-five overall prospect for this year’s draft thanks to back-to-back outstanding seasons for the Gators and his excellent tool set. However, Langford was not always a star: in his true freshman season at Florida, the star outfielder logged just four at-bats. He was a highly touted recruit, but there was a bit of a logjam on the depth chart in 2021 due to the coronavirus canceling most of the 2020 season. Like nearly every player in college baseball, Langford played summer baseball after his true freshman season for the Charlottesville Tom Sox of the Valley League. Langford provided a glimpse into the future, as he hit .346 with seven doubles three home runs, and 20 RBIs over the course of 34 games played.

Langford proceeded to have the biggest breakout sophomore campaign of any player in the country, establishing himself as a premier 2023 draft prospect. He hit .356 with nine doubles, 26 home runs and drove in 63 runs across 66 games played. His unbelievable season earned him numerous All-American honors, an All-SEC selection, and an invitation to Team USA’s Collegiate National Team. 

While Langford became a household name in the college baseball world after 2022, many wondered if he could repeat the success he had. However, head coach Kevin O’Sullivan had little doubt that Langford would have another strong season. In a February interview with 247Sports, O’Sullivan said “I would be very surprised if Wyatt did not handle this whole season and the expectations. He’s been great. He’s just even-keeled.”

Fast forward to today, and Langford has somehow upstaged his 2022 season. He is hitting .370 with 24 doubles, 19 home runs and an impressive 52 walks to just 41 strikeouts. On Saturday he provided college baseball fans with perhaps the best swing of his career, as in the bottom of the ninth inning he hit a 456-foot (112 mph exit velocity), game-tying home run onto the concourse. It was the farthest ball hit at Charles Schwab Stadium. 

As a prospect, Langford is a true five-tool talent. He has plus raw power to all fields and consistently drives the baseball into either gap. Not only does he have an excellent approach, as evidenced by his overall contact rate of 81%, but he also has remarkable bat-to-ball skills with an in-zone contact rate of 87%. His swing is the epitome of “controlled violence.” Langford has a strong base, a very minimal load with an incredibly subtle tip of the barrel and thunderous bat speed. His barrel remains in the hitting zone for what feels like an eternity, and the contact he is able to generate is as good as anyone in the country.  Langford has turned in above-average run times, and has proven that he might be able to stick in center field throughout his professional career. Even if he does end up in a corner outfield spot, Langford’s offensive prowess and sheer baseball sense has placed him squarely in the discussion to be selected first overall this July.

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