Moccasin to Angel: Ryan Langford reflects on his first steps toward the big leagues

Ryan Langford sits at his alma mater to talk about his signing with the Los Angeles Angeles.

Over the summer, Langford spent his time in Maryland, where he played for the Frederick Keys in the Draft League. (Photo courtesy of FSC Athletics)

Emma Lauren Poole | Oct. 4
Sports Editor

Ryan Langford, ’22, says being signed to the Los Angeles Angels organization has already been an incredible experience. On Sept. 5, 2022, the former Moc and right handed pitcher signed a contract with the Angels – his first official step toward a professional baseball career.

He graduated from Florida Southern last year, when, as a reliever, he saved 9 games in one season – a top 10 amount of saves in a single season in Florida Southern history.

During his freshman year, the team went to the world series, where they finished third. It’s become one of the most formative experiences in his baseball career.

“It was an unbelievable experience,” Langford says of his freshman season. “Coming in as a freshman and not knowing what to expect… the other guys really brought us in and took care of us.”

The lessons Langford learned that year have stuck with him since.

“It really taught us young guys how to be on a winning team,” Langford says.

The Mocs haven’t returned to the series since Langford’s freshman year, but he is grateful to have had that experience.

Over the summer, Langford spent his time in Maryland, where he played for the Frederick Keys in the Draft League. He was selected as the Draft League’s pitcher of the week back in August, just a few weeks before he was signed to the Angels organization.

“I went [to the Draft League] for about a month and a half,” Langford explains. “The coaches were all ex-pro baseball players…they gave us all the knowledge of not only how to pitch to the guys, but the mental side of the game.”

Langford recognizes the learning he did about the “mental side” of baseball in the Draft League as being one of the reasons he is where he is today.

“The competition was really good,” Langford says. Rightfully so – with the draft pool having been smaller since the beginning of the pandemic, more talent is present in the Draft League. It’s a high-caliber environment.

But, for now, Langford is just excited to be an Angel.

“It’s an honor to be a part of that organization,” he says. “Especially with big names like Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout.”

It’s exciting, but new. He talks about how things are in California and at the training camp in Arizona. No, he hasn’t met Ohtani or Trout. He even gave his introduction to the team in Spanish. He’s already met several of the other players who signed to the organization.

He explains that he’ll head back to the training camp soon, then have an off-season for about two months, and return to Arizona for spring training.

Langford undoubtedly is a unique and rare talent.

After all, he’s only the sixtieth player in FSC history to be signed as an undrafted free agent, and the two-hundredth-and-first player since the school’s program began.

How does it feel to be in his position?

“Honestly, it’s a loss of words, for real,” Langford says. “It’s an honor, especially with the talent that’s come through this school.”

He’s right – the Florida Southern baseball program boasts a rich and talent-filled history.

“It’s definitely exciting,” Langford says. “I’m just getting into it – it’s just the beginning.”

Langford, like anyone, has plenty of goals for his career. As he works his way up through the Angels organization, he hopes his future includes a few things:

“…Hopefully a lot of baseball in the years to come,” he says, as well as “Staying true to myself – just going out there and competing, attacking hitters and hopefully making it up through the teams to be on the big field one day.”

With an attitude and talent like Langford’s, it’s hard to go wrong.


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