Weight: 190 lbs.
Class: 4YR Jr.
Catchers are something of a wildcard in the MLB draft. They have a harder path to the big leagues than almost any other position, and many players who catch at amateur levels move off the position in the pro ranks. That is not the case for Baylor’s Shea Langeliers, who currently projects to go in the top half of the first round, thanks to a well-rounded skillset carried by advanced defense. Currently, Oregon State’s catcher Adley Rutschman projects as the draft’s top overall pick, taking some of the spotlight off of Langeliers who would solidly be the top catcher in a typical draft class.
A smooth, flexible backstop with an ideal catcher’s frame, Langeliers blossomed into a do-it-all star for the Bears in 2018. He’s earned a reputation for his defense, particularly his ability to throw out runners, and was rewarded with a ABCA Gold Glove Award in 2018 for his efforts. As is the case with any amateur backstop, Langeliers’ receiving will need some fine tuning as he works his way to the bigs, but his arm and actions are largely pro-ready, and there will be no chatter about whether or not catcher is his long-term defensive home. Langeliers carries an especially high floor for an amateur prospect thanks to his glove.
As a hitter, Langeliers didn’t completely set the world aflame as a sophomore, but nonetheless showed skills that should translate readily to the pro game. The Bears’ star has a very simple swing that stays in the zone a long time. He generates significant power with his maxed-out frame, and has shown a strong approach as well, if a bit passive at times. Langeliers’ hit tool is likely his weakest after his run, but still projects as above-average in the future while his power could be plus. At Baylor, almost half of his career hits have gone for extra bases, including 21 home runs across 437 at-bats in his freshman and sophomore campaigns.
Langeliers has very little to do to solidify himself as a first round pick, and a strong campaign with the Bears should lock him into the top 5-10 selections. As a pro-ready defender with middle-of-the-order upside with the bat, Langeliers is a rare talent that all 30 teams will have interest in. He, alongside top prep prospect Bobby Witt, Jr. and Aggies standout Braden Shewmake, are poised to ensure that Texas talent once again figures heavily into day one of the draft, with Langeliers potentially coming off the board first.
Projected Draft Round
Langeliers would likely have to get hurt to fall out of round one.
MLB Player Comparison
Players like Langeliers are exceedingly rare in today’s MLB, but he compares favorably to Cubs’ backstop Willson Contreras, as both players show a strong approach, hit the ball with authority when they make contact, and provide value with their defense.
Does he fit with the Astros?
As I’ve noted above, Langeliers is the type of player that is going to be attractive to all 30 clubs. It would be a serious upset if the Astros had a chance to draft him, but he will likely be high on their internal board.