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Monday newsletter time: The kid heats up at Rangers spring training

(Texas Rangers/Bailey Orr)

 

Until he makes it into a big-league game, Rangers fans are going to have some level of concern about outfielder Wyatt Langford.

He will not have played enough in the minors for the old-school crowd.

His inexperience in left field could lead to some extra bases for opposing clubs.

It’s hard to trust believe what you see in Arizona.

All valid points, by the way.

But Langford has officially done something in a Cactus League game. He hit is first spring homer Friday, an impressive 430-foot blast to right-center field at Scottsdale Stadium, then went deep twice Saturday at Surprise Stadium.

The first one Saturday was what pitchers call an Arizona homer. Langford hit it pretty well and high enough for the thin Arizona air to nudge it over the left-field fence. The second one was a no-doubter that landed above the berm in left-center.

At the very least, Langford has found his timing at the plate. At most, he’s convinced a few club officials that he should be on the Opening Day roster, if they weren’t already convinced coming to camp.

There’s no harm in getting excited, but let’s temper that enthusiasm. Let’s see how he’s performing over the final two weeks of camp, not the first two, when pitchers are more dialed in and when he might face a starting pitcher more than once in a game.

After a week of not looking great and with some panicking that he isn’t ready, Langford has flipped the discussion.

Elvis lands

Former Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus has finally arrived to a spring camp. The Diamondbacks signed the infielder to minor-league deal and brought him to camp to potentially be the utility infielder.

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo told reporters that he told Andrus that nothing is guaranteed. He needs to go play and see what happens. Lovullo, though, has also mentioned that he wants the utility infielder to be able to play shortstop, which Andrus has done most of his career.

Andrus is 35 now. He’s the active MLB leader in games played (2,059) and is third among active players in hits (2,091) behind Joey Votto and Freddie Freeman.

Reporters spoke with him in January after Adrian Beltre’s Hall of Fame press conference at Globe Life Field, and he looked good. He joked with Shin-Soo Choo about going to Korea to play this season.

The late signing, and to a minor-league deal, is another odd twist in one of the oddest baseball offseasons in a long time. Andrus has been a productive player the past few seasons. Maybe he shouldn’t be playing every day somewhere, but he should have received a major-league deal much earlier in the offseason.

Andrus is represented by Scott Boras. Two of the so-called Boras Four, four key free agents he represents, have signed. The two unsigned are left-handers Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery.

Rangers All-Access new episode

Episode 2 of Rangers All-Access debuted Sunday night on YouTube. It’s called “Big Hitters.”

The focus is on the process behind the league’s best offense last season, beginning with their core beliefs and how the club leans on veterans like Marcus Semien and Corey Seager to make things go.

Semien is under the spotlight as cameras followed him on his drive to Salt River Fields. He appears to be staying in Scottsdale, which means he has a long commute to Surprise.

There’s more to takeaway than that. Give it a look here.

ICYMI …

Rangers Today will be back in camp Thursday morning, just before the spring breakers arrive en masse. It will be fun to see how much the crowds swell coming off a world championship as opposed to that 60-102 season a few years back. The early-camp crowds were better than they had been, so it only figures that spring break will make the back fields a madhouse.

Don’t be surprise to sees another spring-training sale pop up at the website this week, 12 months for $48. The site bargain at the regular price and a steal for $4 a month. For a sampling of what you’ll be getting, here’s our latest content, in case you missed it.

The Sunday Read: Watch and learn

Friday on the Farm: Jack is back

Opening Day roster projection 1.0

Rangers Today Baseball Podcast YouTube channel

Doggy video!

Like the leaves yesterday when I tried to rake them. Enjoy.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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