The MLB draft is a special time for teams and players alike. Teams use this time to restock their farm systems and find talented players that will help the organization for years to come. For the player, it is a memorable day like none other. The dream of playing in the majors becomes much more realistic once a player’s name is called. One such player hoping to be selected in the 2019 draft is catcher Shea Langeliers.
Shea Langeliers 2019 MLB Draft Profile
Shea Langeliers is a catcher for the Baylor Bears. The 21-year-old junior right-handed hitting backstop slashed at .286/.367/.505 during his three-year career. His 28 home runs, 113 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 612 career at-bats would be higher if not for suffering an injury this year that cost him between three and four weeks of play. While his defensive presence is what he is known for, these numbers suggest that he can swing the bat. Langeliers is projected to be a first-round pick who has the defensive skills to play right away in the major leagues.
Langeliers biggest strength is how advanced his defensive skills are. He won the ABCA Gold Glove Award in 2018. His arm is major league ready and is considered as a plus plus. In his last two seasons, Langeliers threw out over 60 percent of base stealers. He has an ideal frame for a catcher. He is smooth and flexible and seen as a rare talent. His agility makes it easy for him to block balls behind the plate. He has also been praised for his leadership skills and how he handles his pitchers.
While not known for his offensive skills Langeliers can hold his own. His easy and simple swing suggests he will be a contact hitter. He does have a high upside to be a middle-of-the-order bat, as 41 percent of his career hits have been for extra bases. He has a short, compact swing and a good eye, allowing him to turn on inside pitches but also go the other way with outside pitches.
On the basepaths, he does not have overwhelming speed. He won’t steal bases but is far from a liability. He has better-than-average speed for a catcher.
Langeliers does not have any standout offensive skills, although he tends to try to do too much with the bat. At times, Langeliers tries to sell out to hit home runs instead of letting his raw power play out. His 109 strikeouts in 612 at-bats do indicate he will strike out at a higher rate, especially when facing better pitching. He does tend to get out in front of breaking balls.
Langeliers, while behind the plate, does not call his own game yet, but most college catchers don’t. His arm is certainly ready, but he would only require minimal fine tuning as a receiver.
Two good comparisons for Langeliers are Willson Contreras and Mike Lieberthal. Both Contreras and Lieberthal have 162 game averages of over 20 HRs, 80 RBI and a batting average over .270. In addition, both have caught 30 percent of would-be base stealers. In comparison, the active leader in that category is Yadier Molina at 40 percent and he is regarded as one of the best defensive catchers to ever play.
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