The Rangers are set to announce the signing of fourth overall draftee Wyatt Langford at a press conference tomorrow, per Jeff Wilson (Twitter link). According to Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline (on Twitter), the University of Florida product will take home an $8MM bonus.
Despite being a college draftee, Langford gets a signing figure a little above slot value. The fourth pick comes with a bonus allotment of $7.7MM. That reflects Langford’s reputation as a top three talent in the class. Kiley McDaniel of ESPN had him first on his pre-draft board. Keith Law of the Athletic ranked him only behind Dylan Crews, while Baseball America and MLB Pipeline put him behind Crews and Paul Skenes.
Langford dipped out of the top three, but he lands a higher bonus than the $7.7MM that’ll go to #3 selection Max Clark. The righty-hitting outfielder is regarded as perhaps the best offensive player in this year’s class. He hit .373/.498/.784 during his final year in Gainesville. Langford connected on 21 homers, walked at a stellar 18.5% clip and kept his strikeouts to a tolerable 14.5% rate.
He’s also an excellent runner and figures to get a crack in center field in pro ball. Evaluators have suggested he might be better suited for left field — where he spent a decent amount of time for the Gators — as a result of fringy defensive instincts. Even if he does end up in a corner, he’s expected to eclipse the higher offensive bar necessary to be a quality everyday player.
Langford figures to immediately jump towards the top of a strong Texas farm system. McDaniel’s pre-draft writeup noted he’ll immediately slot into pro ball as ESPN’s #9 overall prospect. He ranks 11th on Baseball America’s updated Top 100, one spot ahead of Evan Carter for tops in the Rangers’ organization.