HOLLY SPRINGS – Opening Day is circled on most calendars but today is one start to the season that Coastal Plain League (CPL) alum Wyatt Langford (pictures courtesy of Ralph Wood and Jim Arend/Peninsula Pilots) will never forget. Langford, who played for the Peninsula Pilots in 2022 started and debuted for the Texas Rangers tonight after being drafted just last season.

Starting at designated hitter Thursday night, Langford stepped up to the plate to start the second inning but struck out looking on a six-pitch at-bat. He rebounded in his second plate appearance, however, scoring Josh Jung on a sacrifice fly to center to knot the game at 1-1 after four. He notched his first MLB hit in the bottom of the sixth and finished 1-for-3 with a walk, a sacrifice fly, and an RBI in the Rangers’ 4-3 10-inning win.

With his debut, Langford becomes the fastest Top 5 Draft pick to reach the Majors since Ryan Zimmerman in 2005. And like Langford, Zimmerman played for the Pilots while at the University of Virginia in 2003.

Langford was drafted fourth overall by the Rangers in the 2023 Major League Baseball Draft and spent the remainder of the professional season last year climbing the ladder to Triple-A. After a short stint in the Arizona Complex League, he shifted over to High-A Hickory, where he batted .333 with 29 hits, eight doubles, two triples and five home runs in 24 games. From there he was promoted to Double-A Frisco and swung .405 with a .519 on-base percentage before joining Triple-A Round Rock. While with the Express, Langford closed out the 2023 season slashing .368/.539/.526 and punched his ticket to Spring Training.

Earlier this spring, he again flashed his skills offensively. Not only did he tally an impressive .365 average with 23 hits, 14 runs and 20 RBIs, but he continued his strength of reaching base with an on-base percentage of .423. Numbers like those and what he showed in 2023 saw Langford earn a spot among Texas’ Opening Day roster.

While with the Florida Gators, Langford spent part of the summer of 2022 with the Pilots before joining USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team. He batted a team-best .394 for Peninsula with 13 hits, including a pair of doubles, a triple and two home runs. He scored seven runs and collected five RBIs to go with three walks and three stolen bags. When Langford shifted over to the CNT, he continued his offensive prowess, slashing .333/.407/.381. He tallied seven hits, second-best on the team, to go with four walks. Overall, he also had three RBIs, four runs, two stolen bases and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

Langford is the first CPL alum to make their Big League debut during the 2024 season and is the 186th overall in the league’s 27-year history.

About Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. The CPL is currently comprised of 15 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,750 alumni drafted, and 186 alums make their Major League debut. Most notable alumni include Justin Verlander, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Kevin Youkilis, Chris Taylor, Alec Bohm, Jake Cave, Chas McCormick and NFL Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok @CPLBaseball.

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