In 2016, Langeliers graduated from Keller High School in Texas. He posted a .327 career average with 31 doubles, 3 triples, 9 home runs and 74 RBI.
Shea removed himself from MLB's 2016 Draft with his strong commit to Baylor. But the Blue Jays chose Langeliers in the 34th round anyway, as a courtesy.
Langeliers major was engineering at Baylor.
Shea spent the summer of 2017 playing for Chatham of the Cape Cod League. He got off to an outstanding start, hitting five home runs in his first 20 games and starting the all-star game before slowing down in the second half. Still, he finished fifth in the league in home runs, with 6. And more than half his 30 hits went for extra bases.
Langeliers felt his experience at Baylor was invaluable. His physical and mental growth since his freshman year positioned him to become a top 10 pick. That maturity is why he’s expected to quickly climb the ranks.
“My time at Baylor meant a lot to me,” Langeliers said. “All the things they say about going to college—time management, you learn that. You learn how to handle stress, baseball and school. Then you’re in season and you’re worried about a test while you’re focused on trying to beat the University of Texas. So you learn how to balance that."
June 2019: The Braves chose Langeliers out of Baylor Univ. in the first round (#9 overall), behind only behind only behind C Adley Rutschman (O's), Bobby Witt Jr. (Royals), Andrew Vaughn (White Sox), JJ Bleday (Marlins), Riley Greene (Tigers), INF C.J. Abrams (Padres), P Nick Lodolo (Reds) and 3B Josh Jung (Rangers).
June 12, 2019: The Braves officially signed Langeliers. The deal is reportedly for $4 million, which is below the full-slot value of $4.95 million for the No. 9 pick. Langeliers is considered by many to be better defensively than Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, who was taken by the Orioles with the first overall pick.
In 2020, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Langeliers as 7th-best prospect in the Braves' organization. He moved up to 4th in the winter before 2021 spring training. And was at #2 in the spring of 2022, behind only Michael Harris.
MLB Pipeline: Before you were even drafted by the Braves, you went off in a NCAA regional elimination game against Nebraska Omaha, going 5-for-6 with three home runs, a double and an NCAA tournament-record 11 RBI. When you came to the plate for the final time, chasing four home runs, that had to have been in your head a little bit, right?
Langeliers: Maybe a little bit. I tried not to think about it as much as I could. I was just trying to take it all in, because I knew that at some point my college career was going to come to an end. I was playing with those guys and trying to have fun—but, yeah, it kind of crept into my head a little bit.
MLB Pipeline: So … did your teammates give you crap when you came back to the dugout or what?
Langeliers: Yeah. I mean, I struck out looking. I didn’t even swing at it. So, yeah, I caught a little crap for that. MLB Pipeline: I noticed you have a locker here next to Braden Shewmake, a guy you played with on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. How cool is it that you guys get to experience the next part of your careers together?
Langeliers: It’s awesome, especially at the beginning, knowing somebody like Shew. As good of friends as we are, it kind of just made that transition easier, being able to be close to and talk to somebody. You saw him last summer, he jumped up to Double-A almost immediately.
MLB Pipeline: You were considered the best defensive catcher in last year’s Draft. At what point in your career did you realize that you were just nasty behind the plate?
Langeliers: When I first started catching during my sophomore year in high school, I was more of a catch-and-throw guy, and I came to the conclusion that I needed to take the next step with my receiving and blocking -- kind of learn how a game flows and being able to call a game and work with a pitching staff. My senior year was I first started noticing that I was good in other areas, not just catch and throw.
MLB Pipeline: I know it’s still early in your career, but what would you say is one big thing you’ve implemented in your defensive game that you’ve learned since joining the Braves organization?
Langeliers: Calling a game using scouting reports on the other team. Last summer I was working with [Rome pitching coach Kanekoa Jacob Texeira], going over the opponent’s lineup every game -- their hot zones, counts, runners in scoring position. At the beginning, it was kind of overwhelming with all the information we had that I had to keep track of, but as you keep doing it you get used to it. I would say thinking-wise, with game planning, I’ve taken a step towards where I want to be.
MLB Pipeline: How much do you feel that knowledge and the way you think as a catcher helps you as a hitter?
Langeliers: I would say it definitely puts into perspective what the other team is trying to do to you, because obviously as a hitter you know your hot/cold zones, which pitches you hit well and which pitches you don’t. So I think it gives you perspective on how they might work you for that game.
MLB Pipeline: What’s one thing you want to accomplish this year, a goal you have for your first full season?
Langeliers: Game planning and pitch receiving. That’s my biggest focus right now catching-wise, framing pitches and stealing strikes, because that part of the game is huge You catch 150-plus pitches a night; maybe have to block 5-10; maybe have to throw once. So you have to catch more pitches than anything else, and that’s a really important part of the game. By stealing strikes your saving your pitcher’s pitches and ultimately keeping them healthy throughout the year. (Rosenbaum - mlb.com - 3/5/2020)
In 2020, Shea was a standout performer at the Braves’ alternate training site.
2021 Season: Langeliers on offense (2021)
92 G, .258 AVG, 128 wRC+, 22 HR
Langeliers on defense (2021)
79 starts at catcher 679.1 innings 73 assists 4 errors (.995 Fld%)
42 stolen bases - 30 caught-stealing (42 CS%)
However, what makes Langeliers the Braves minor league MVP for 2021 is that he’s been able to post the numbers above at the plate while still managing to exceed expectations as a star behind the dish. He was named the Braves minor player of the year.
Shea, who is recognized as one of the best catchers in the Minors, was named the recipient of the 2021 Hank Aaron Award, which is given annually to the best position player in the Braves' Minor League system. (Bowman - mlb.com - 9/28/2021)
March 2, 2022: Michael Harris lived up to lofty expectations during his first full professional season last year. Now, the Braves prospect is ready to take his next step toward potentially becoming a star at the Major League level.
Harris and Shea Langeliers headline the prospects who will be present when the Braves open their Minor League camp at CoolToday Park. The camp will be open to each of the club’s players not currently on the 40-man roster.
“Minor League Spring Training is operating like Minor League Spring Training would,” Braves assistant general manager Ben Sestanovich said. “I think all of these guys are excited to get started.”
Langeliers was part of big league camp the past two years, and Harris experienced his first big league camp last year. Without that option currently available, they will begin their preparations in a different manner this year. But making adjustments is nothing new for these two, or for any of the players who have been selected since the 2019 MLB Draft.
Langeliers was selected out of Baylor University with the ninth overall pick in 2019; the Braves grabbed Harris with a third-round selection the same year. Both players played just over 50 Minor League games that summer and then saw the 2020 season erased by COVID-19.
Instead of their development being completely halted in 2020, the pair took advantage of being selected to work out at the team’s alternate training site at Triple-A Gwinnett’s Coolray Field.
There’s never been any doubt about the defensive potential of Langeliers, who already ranks among the game’s elite catchers from a throwing perspective. As for his offensive potential, well he quieted some doubters when he hit 22 homers and produced an .836 OPS in 92 games at Double-A Mississippi last year.
Langeliers ranks as the Braves' No. 2 prospect and baseball’s No. 69 prospect per MLB Pipeline.
“We saw him hold his own at the alternate site the summer before, and we saw him hit a lot of balls hard,” Sestanovich said. “So I don’t think the power production was as much of a surprise to those of us who had been around him.” (M Bowman - MLB.com - March 2, 2022)
Shea broke out in a big way during the 2021 season. He led the Mississippi Braves to a Double-A South championship by slugging 22 home runs with an .833 OPS and tossing out 31 would-be base stealers. The former Baylor standout is set to take the reins behind the plate for Atlanta in the near future.
Jonathan Mayo: After the year you had last year, how much time did you take outside to rest and get back to work here?
Shea Langeliers: I’m very excited to get back and get going again. Definitely hit that point this year and super excited to be here and having a lot of fun so far.
Mayo: You had sort of an exciting but a little bit of a surreal end of your year. I was hoping to see you in the Fall League. What was that whole experience like because you got to see it firsthand, but you didn’t play. Explain what that whole process was like for you?
Langeliers: It was super cool, a super awesome experience just getting to be around those guys. How they take care of themselves, how they go about their game days, all the game planning before the game, just kind of get to experience that and watch.
Mayo: Did you get to celebrate? Did you dog pile? Did you not know how to behave when they won the whole thing?
Langeliers: A little bit. I didn’t know what to do because I was just sitting there watching them win a World Series, and it was amazing and I’m super excited. They worked their tails off the whole year to get to that point, so a little bit of not knowing what to do.
Mayo: How much did it mean to you that the organization clearly had faith in your abilities behind the plate in that you were the guy? Catchers get hurt all the time and if something had happened, you could’ve been catching in the NLCS or the World Series.
Langeliers: It's pretty cool, but you know I try not to look at it like that, just approach every day the same, try to get better. There's always more stuff you can do, there's always a way you can get better whether it be physical or mental.
Mayo: When you broke your hamate, did you have a moment of, “oh man, the timing of this?” I know you want to be there for your team trying to win but you must’ve had the Draft in the back of your head at least.
Langeliers: Maybe a little bit at the time when I broke my hamate, but the biggest concern was getting back to the field. My junior year we were set up to have a pretty good team and being off the field, it was tough.
Mayo: One of the things that sold the Braves on you was how quickly you got back. Forget about how you were swinging the bat, but you got back in a hurry. Where did that mental toughness come from?
Langeliers: I was so wanting to get back on the field and I was joking around with some people saying, “I’m sure it’ll heal quick, I'll get over this quick.” I feel like having that sort of mentality helps you get out there a little bit quicker and even heal a little bit faster.
Mayo: I would imagine after going through that, aches and pains you are going to have as a catcher naturally you're going to be like, “Alright, I came back from a hamate injury in a couple of weeks. This is nothing.”
Langeliers: The pain wasn’t completely away when I first came back but you’re right. The aches and pains from catching, I feel like I’m not really too concerned about that anymore.
Mayo: Your reputation as a defender kind of precedes you. You've maintained it. Where did your love of the craft of catching come from? When did it start for you?
Langeliers: Late high school, toward junior year, senior year, I started getting catching lessons from Caleb Parker, who was also a catcher at Keller High School and then went to the University of Tennessee. Working with him is when it started clicking that this is what I want to do, this is who I want to be. Your craft will change here and there but it’s just that mentality of this is who I am.
Mayo: As a guy who’s such a good receiver, part of that is framing. What are your thoughts on the whole automatic balls and strikes system?
Langeliers: I’m going to keep getting better at receiving in any way possible. I don’t want to say steal strikes, but just keeping strikes strikes and keeping the ball in front of you, that type of deal.
Mayo: Would you be a little disappointed if they did that?
Langeliers: I mean yeah, I think so. It takes a little bit of the craftsmanship out of catching. There’s a lot of good receivers at the Major League level, Minor League level. It kind of takes a little something away from that.
Mayo: I know people want to talk to you about your defense all the time, but you had a good offensive year too. The power really showed up. Were you even surprised at how much in-game power actually came from you?
Langeliers: Maybe a little bit but it's more I think the power starts to show up when you're locked in on your approach. It's a pitcher-to-pitcher thing really, whether he's got a vertical right fastball or he throws a sinker, you just kind of stick with your approach and get a pitch you really want to hit. When you swing at it hopefully good things will happen.
Mayo: I was in Orioles camp yesterday talking to Adley Rutschman. I think that you guys are going to be connected. It’s not too often that two college catchers go in the Top 10. Do you keep tabs on each other and talk about the craft and things like that?
Langeliers: Yeah, we have. Especially in college, we got to play together in 2018 that summer, so we got to know each other a little bit, stay in touch here and there. Obviously Adley’s a generational talent, he’s a super hard working, great guy.
Mayo: What's the best comp you've ever heard for yourself? One that you're like, “Wow, if I could be that guy, great and yeah, that's going to make sense.”
Langeliers: I kind of want to be my own player. Like you said, it’s kind of a disservice to us and a disservice to the guys in the big leagues. I don’t know if that’s my player comp, but I just loved watching Buster Posey when he was coming up. He’s a great defensive catcher, can really swing the bat. That’s kind of pushed me to start loving catching. (J Mayo - MLB.com - March 11, 2022)
July 2022: Langeliers represented the A's at the MLB's Futures All-Star Game. And he was named MVP of the game at Dodger Stadium.
Langeliers finished 1-for-2 on the night, helping lead the AL to a victory over the NL, 6-4.
While the A's future backstop had only one hit, it was a big one. Shea smashed a solo home run off of Braves prospect Jared Shuster, giving the AL a 6-3 lead in the fourth inning.
Aug 16, 2022: Shea spent many of his childhood years going to Rangers games, hearing the club’s iconic “It’s baseball time in Texas” announcement from the stands each time. He remembers cheering on players like Elvis Andrus, Michael Young and Adrían Béltre during the team’s back-to-back World Series runs in 2010-11. But Shea only had a fan's-eye view then.
However, he turned the tables after he was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to make his MLB debut with a cheering section of about 100 friends and family members rooting him on from the stands. This time, he was the one gearing up to play as Rangers announcer Chuck Morgan said those famous words: "It’s baseball time in Texas."
“It's crazy to think about. I was just a little kid growing up, going to all the games, and now I’m playing against them,” Langeliers said prior to Oakland’s 5-1 win over Texas, a much-needed victory that snapped a nine-game losing streak. “It’s just a surreal moment.”
Langeliers was acquired by Oakland prior to the season as a key part of the return from Atlanta for first baseman Matt Olson. (Oakland also acquired Cristian Pache, Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes.) After 92 games with Las Vegas, and with the A's approaching a double-digit losing streak, Langeliers received the news of his callup on the day before, ahead of the Aviators’ game in Sacramento. He was in the training room when Las Vegas manager Fran Riordan walked in.
“He just came in and just asked me what I was doing. I was like, ‘Oh, just getting worked on, getting ready,’” Langeliers recalled. “And he's like, ‘You think you'll be ready to play in Arlington tomorrow?’”
Ranked as the No. 36 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, the catcher put together a .283/.366/.510 slash line this season in Triple-A with 100 hits, 19 doubles, 19 home runs, 56 RBIs and 43 walks.
“As far as the decision to bring up Shea, it was a matter of when and not if we're going to bring him up,” A’s general manager David Forst said. “I mean, he has excelled in every way since starting the season in Las Vegas. We knew we wanted to get him here at some point this year, and this was the time where we felt like we could get him at-bats.”
In his first Major League at-bat — and on the first pitch he saw — Langeliers showed off his 60-grade power and ripped a double down the left-field line, leading off the second inning and immediately putting Oakland in position to improve on an early 1-0 lead.
“I feel like the only way to get past [the first-game jitters] was to ... if he gave me a good pitch to hit [on] the first pitch, I was swinging at it,” Langeliers said.
In doing so, Langeliers became the first A’s rookie to get a hit on the first pitch of his first Major League at-bat since Ramón Hernandez on June 29, 1999. (A Vedia - MLB.com - Aug 17, 2022)
In 2022, Langeliers was named the Athletics Minor League Player Of The Year by Baseball America.
When Shea came west, he carried a mountain of expectations.
The Athletics had made the difficult decision to tear down and rebuild, a bitter toxin for a fan base that had grown to love its team with homegrown cornerstone players Matt Olson and Matt Chapman.
Langeliers was the highest-ranked prospect acquired in Oakland's flurry of deals last offseason that parted with Olson and Chapman as well as starting pitchers Chris Bassitt and Sean Manaea.
Langeliers responded with a season that provides some hope for the Athletics’ future. He hit .283/.366/.510 with 19 home runs in 92 games for Triple-A Las Vegas and was named MVP of the Futures Game prior to his Aug. 16 callup to Oakland.
“From the first time I saw him, I liked everything about him,” A’s farm director Ed Sprague said. “He’s a solid catcher, throws well and has a nice, flat swing through the zone. He uses the whole field. He’s a defensive-minded catcher who can hit.”
The defense is what draws the raves.
“He is totally about helping a pitcher get through the game,” Sprague said. “That’s his No. 1 goal.”
Sprague grades the 24-year-old Langeliers at a plus at both catching and throwing, and the rookie adjusted well to working with Oakland pitchers.
Sprague also sees Langeliers as a plus hitter. He currently rates his power as average, but with a chance to increase as the 6-foot catcher gains strength and experience. Langeliers is a slightly below-average runner and is significantly faster than most catchers.
“He’s very well-liked,” Sprague said. “He’s very personable—a very humble guy and very confident.”
Langeliers grew up in Keller, Texas, before advancing to Baylor and becoming the ninth overall pick in the 2019 draft by the Braves. He ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Double-A Southern League in 2021 and was part of the March 14 deal that sent Olson to Atlanta. (Casey Tefertiller - Sept 13, 2022)
Shea grew up in Keller, Texas, before advancing to Baylor University in Waco, TX. He ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Double-A Southern League in 2021 and was part of the deal that sent Matt Olson to Atlanta and brought Cristian Pache, Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes to Oakland.
The A's player poised to break out in 2023: C Shea Langeliers
Part of the A’s willingness to trade away Sean Murphy this offseason is their confidence in Langeliers’ readiness to assume the everyday catching role. The 25-year-old backstop graduated from his status as Oakland’s No. 1 prospect in 2022 by splitting time behind the plate with Murphy, collecting 17 extra-base hits over 40 Major League games. Displaying premium tools both behind the plate and with the bat, the A’s believe Langeliers can evolve into a well-rounded catcher similar to Murphy. (Martín Gallegos - MLB.com - Dec 26, 2022)
Who is Shea Langeliers' wife, Raegan Padgett? Here's a glimpse into the personal life of the A's catcher.
Shea Langeliers is a popular catcher for the Athletics. On Jan. 21, he completed an important milestone in his life when he married his long-time girlfriend Raegan Padgett.
Raegan Padgett is the daughter of James Mark Padgett and Stephanie Leger Padgett. She also has a sister named Kathryne, who once had a short-lived relationship with former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. Raegan also excelled in athletics at Baylor University where she played soccer.
Shea and Raegan were romantically involved for four years before finally getting engaged in January 2022. They finally got married this year. She considers Shea to be her truest friend and the absolute love of her life. Moreover, she loves him with every part of her.
Shea considers himself to be the luckiest man alive because of Raegan's sweetness toward him. The couple also reinforces their love for each other through their Instagram posts.
Raegan was also there supporting Shea when he made his MLB debut in Texas in front of his friends and family members. The couple seemed very happy after Oakland Athletics won the game against the Texas Rangers. (Arka Mukherjee - Modified May 23, 2023)
2023 Season: Langeliers showed the potential of the offensive-minded catcher that he is, but with that also came plenty of struggles at the big-league level. The power numbers were there; Langeliers slapped 22 home runs, 19 doubles, and 63 RBIs in 2023. He struggled to hit for average with a .205 mark in 448 at-bats, and he also struck out 143 times compared to just 34 walks. Langeliers also showed some athleticism at the plate and on the base paths legging out four triples in 2023.
While Langeliers' bat was sporadic, the same can somewhat be said about his defense. He caught 38 men stealing on the base paths and 31.1% of all runners total, which were both amongst the MLB lead in just his first full season behind the dish. Ten errors and seven passed balls were also up there amongst league leaders as Langeliers had a 0.3 defensive WAR in 2023. Like his bat, the glimpses are definitely there but his consistency will need to improve going forward but for a first-year catcher, these problems seem understandable.
What went right? What went wrong?
As mentioned before, all the tools for Langeliers to be a solid two-way catcher looked present at times in 2023. His HardHit % is 8% above the MLB average, as Langeliers was amongst the MLB lead in home runs and RBIs for a catcher, a position that’s lacked offensive prowess as of lately.
Also, the A’s led the MLB in caught stealing percentage at 31% in 2023, higher than teams like the Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks that are known to have elite defensive catchers like Adley Rutschman and Gabriel Moreno. Langeliers accounted for most of those caught stealing. Langeliers also just looked the part of a solid MLB everyday catcher going yard off elite pitchers like Kodai Senga, Jacob DeGrom, and Shohei Ohtani while also hitting a 456-foot home run midseason.
The biggest thing that went wrong for Langeliers in 2023 were his strikeouts and swing-and-miss problems. The total of 143 strikeouts placed him 18th in the American League, and he doesn’t walk a whole lot to balance it out. Langeliers hit just .178 on breaking balls and .194 on off-speed while having a whiff rate of 37% and 39.5% respectively for both. Against curveballs, Langeliers hit .081 while striking out 44.7% of the time. When Langeliers wasn’t getting himself out via strikeout, he was more than likely under the ball. An Under % of 32.3 is nearly 10% above the MLB average and a fly ball % of 29.6 is 6% above the MLB average. (dfriis - Dec 15, 2023)
June 2019: The Braves chose Langeliers out of Baylor Univ. in the first round (#9 overall). The Braves signed Langeliers for $4 million.
March 14, 2022: The A's traded 1B Matt Olson to the Braves; acquiring OF Cristian Pache, C Shea Langeliers, SP Ryan Cusick and SP Joey Estes.
|Braves #1 - 2019 - Out of Baylor Univ. (TX)
Langeliers has above-average 55 grade righthanded pull-power. And, there is some swing-and-miss. But Shea is learning to pick pitches he can hammer. And, he is making a concerted effort to become a better all-fields hitter.
Shea is a 60 grade hitter. He currently rates his power as average, but with a chance to increase as the 6-foot catcher gains strength and experience.
Langeliers’ power bat and arm were on full display during his first full season. His right-handed pop started to show up at the alt site in 2020 and continued in Mississippi, where his 22 homers stand out even more because it’s such a tough place to hit. While there is some swing-and-miss to his game (26.8 percent K rate), that was right about average for his level and he routinely registered high exit velocities, was near the top of the organization in terms of the quality of his contact and showed the ability to recognize and hit breaking stuff. Improvement in handling velocity up in the zone will help his development as a hitter. (Spring 2022)
Shea's swing is geared to do damage with plus power and the strike-zone management to get to that power regularly. He should hit near the MLB average and contribute 20-plus home runs with above-average defense behind the plate.
“He’s the type of guy where you could see anything in a given day,” Mississippi manager Dan Meyer said near the end of the 2021 season. “He could hit three home runs. He could make some ridiculous throws . . . Every throw seems to be spot on.”
Shea will have to work to avoid creating holes in his swing—notably with high fastballs and sliders away currently—but he uses the entire field well. Atlanta player development officials have praised his ability to adjust. (Spring, 2022)
While Shea's glove is ahead of his bat, the Braves love the strides Langeliers has already made from the right side of the plate. He has a good setup and solid swing mechanics that point to consistent hard contact and plenty of raw power. Some of that was already on display in Gwinnett last summer, especially when he went the other way. Langeliers averaged 95.4 mph exit velocity on his balls in play to the opposite field. If the bat continues to trend upward, he should develop into an outstanding starting catcher in the big leagues. (Spring 2021)
Shea impressed Braves officials with his ability to drive the ball with authority to right field at the alternate site, especially after he mostly pulled the ball in his debut. His bat projects more average than above and he still needs more reps against upper-level pitchers. Langeliers puts together quality at-bats and has enough strength to project average power. (Carlos Collazo - BA Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2021)
Shea has a shot at becoming an average hitter, thanks to a balanced, fluid swing from the right side with gap power now that could get to above average. He has a 50 hit tool with a bit-above-average power grade of 55.
“For myself, it’s just being able to spray the ball, hitting-wise, anywhere on the field,” Langeliers said in 2019. “Hitting the baseball wherever it’s pitched and not trying to overdo it or try to get an extra-base hit sometimes. It’s just get the barrel to the baseball.”
While most of the talk around Langeliers is about his defense, he has the chance to be a very good all-around backstop. He has plenty of raw power to tap into and has a solid right-handed swing that should continue to allow him to make consistent hard contact once he settles into the pro game. Speed isn't a big part of his game, but he moves better than most catchers. (Spring 2020)
Shea's bat is a question mark, but he does have potential as a hitter. Scouts think he can become an average hitter thanks to a balanced swing and solid understanding of the strike zone.
He began tapping into his power in 2021. An advanced defender, Langeliers’ bat will determine how quickly he reaches the majors.
In 2018 in college, Langeliers won the Rawlings/ABCA Gold Glove as the best defensive catcher in college baseball.
Shea is a very impressive catcher.
“From the first time I saw him, I liked everything about him,” A’s farm director Ed Sprague said. “He’s a solid catcher, throws well and has a nice, flat swing through the zone. He uses the whole field. He’s a defensive-minded catcher who can hit."
The defense is what draws the raves.
“He is totally about helping a pitcher get through the game,” Sprague said. “That’s his No. 1 goal.”
Sprague grades the 24-year-old Langeliers at a plus at both catching and throwing, and the rookie adjusted well to working with Oakland pitchers. (Casey Tefertiller - Baseball America - Oct., 2022)
Langeliers predictably got the nod as the Best Defensive Catcher in the league, but also earned the most votes for Most Exciting Player and for Best Power Potential in Baseball America's 2021 Best Tools issue.
Even if he doesn’t hit, Langeliers’ defense will make him a big leaguer. He has one of the best arms of any Minor Leaguer at any position and he threw out 42 percent of potential base-stealers a year ago. He’s a strong leader and works very well with pitchers and after his experience on the postseason taxi squad, he’s close to being ready for a job as a big league regular. (Spring 2022)
Shea's 70-grade arm really stands out. His quick transfer and throwing accuracy contribute to consistent above-average pop times on throws to second base. He is a clean receiver and advanced game-caller to whom pitchers like to throw. He is a team leader who is working to improve his framing skill.
Langeliers threw out 42% of base-stealers in 2021, a clip significantly above the 31% league average rate. He routinely pops in the 1.90-second range and managers rave about how his throws always seem to be right on the bag.
Pitchers also seem to love throwing to Langeliers, and he has the makeup and baseball IQ to manage a staff well, though scouts note he could still improve as a pitch framer and with his mobility to get to a true plus defender. (Carlos Colazzo - Baseball America Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2022)
Shea's defense is his best asset. He threw out 42% of base-stealers, tied for most in the minors. He’s frequently applauded for his work with pitchers, where he says he’s made significant strides.
“I’ve grown the most (over the last year) with catching,” Langeliers said. “Just getting to know a pitching staff, getting close with the team, knowing pitchers’ strengths and how they’re going to attack guys, their go-to pitch in an important situation.
"Learning the scouting reports, how to take that into account when you’re playing different teams all year long. It was overwhelming at first, but getting ahold of that makes the game go a little bit slower.” (Gabe Burns - Baseball America - March, 2022)
Langeliers lives up to his reputation as a high-level 60 grade defender by pairing a standout, 70-grade arm with impressive hands in receiving and a desire to consistently improve. He shows all the traits of at least a plus defender behind the plate.
There’s no question that Langeliers’ defense is still his calling card. His athleticism and agility allow him to be a plus blocker and receiver and he perhaps has the best arm of any catcher in the Minor Leagues, one that allowed him to throw out 41 percent of potential base-stealers in 2019. He is a strong leader who worked very well with more advanced pitchers at the alternate training site and frames pitches extremely well. (Spring 2021)
The Braves feel Langeliers has “elite” defensive makeup. He threw out 14 of 25 baserunners (56%) in his final collegiate season and 16 of 39 (41%) at Rome. Combining his opportunities during his last season at Baylor and Rome, Langeliers committed three errors in 747 chances.
His ability to manage a pitching staff was praised by older players during his first spring training. It’s the skill that’s developed most since his first college season, according to Langeliers. (Gabe Burns - Baseball America - March, 2021)
Langeliers loves the catcher position and the leadership that comes with it. Since he switched from third base back to the backstop position in the middle of his sophomore year of high school, he has settled in as a receiver.
“I’m a big team guy who is about winning,” Langeliers said. “I feel like I do a good job controlling the game with the pitcher and the defense. When I was playing for the Arlington A’s, [coach Dave Acton] really changed my mental approach. He really pushed me until I got it.”
Shea's athleticism certainly helps him behind the plate. He's extremely agile, helping him be an outstanding blocker and receiver. His cannon for an arm can shut down the running game and he threw out 41 percent of potential base-stealers during his pro debut. He frames pitches well and is a strong leader. Those defensive skills alone should be enough to allow him to be a big league regular. If his offense continues to develop, he has the chance to be an elite-level backstop. (Spring 2020)
Langeliers has an above-average arm that is also accurate.
Shea is a strong defender with above-average receiving and blocking ability. He provides 70-grade defense behind the plate.
“There’s also an aspect of his game that a lot of people don’t get to see in that he is probably one of the most athletic guys on the field,” Baylor coach Steve Rodriguez said early in 2019. “I can put him in left, I can put him at first. I can probably put him at third or in center and he’s going to do just fine.
“Most people don’t realize he runs a 6.7 (60-yard dash), but you don’t really get a chance to see that because his legs are usually squatting down behind the plate for so long and they get tired.
“His defensive ability, I’ve never seen anything like it on the baseball field,” Rodriguez said. “Defensively, I’ve only had one other player like him and that was Dane Sardinha (at Pepperdine). He was a catcher I had out of Hawaii. He was unbelievable behind the plate and made it to the big leagues, and I would compare Shea to him. Just unbelievable talent behind the plate.” (Joe Healy - Baseball America - Feb., 2019)
Shea is a polished pitch-framer, and he moves well behind the plate and shows impressive blocking ability from his 6-foot, 190-pound frame. If Langeliers never hits, he still profiles as a solid backup option in today’s game that focuses on pitch-framing ability.
He moves well behind the plate and consistently keeps balls in the dirt in front of him. Those defensive skills led to Austin Hedges comparisons, but Langeliers has a stronger offensive foundation than Hedges, (Spring, 2020)
2021 Top Defensive Prospect - Arm: Langeliers (70)
The Braves’ 2019 first-round Draft pick (No. 9 overall) has perhaps the best arm of any catcher in the Minor Leagues — a double-plus cannon that allowed him to throw out 41 percent of base-stealers at Class A Rome in his pro debut.
Field: Rutschman, Langeliers (65)
Langeliers’ arm strength is one of many qualities that has earned him recognition as one of the best defensive catchers in the Minors. He also earns high marks for his blocking, receiving, and game-calling. (M Bauman - MLB.com - Jan 20, 2021)
- Shea has a 45 grade for his running tool, which is faster than most catchers.
- Feb. - March 2019: In college, Langeliers broke his hamate bone on Opening Day of Baylor's season. He was sidelined a few weeks.