Yesterday, I talked about the expectations for Cristian Pache, which launched this offseason series where I will be discussing the outlook for some of the Braves’ hottest prospects. In each article moving forward, I’ll link the past prospects that I have covered at the beginning in case you missed one.
In my opinion, Shea Langeliers has earned the right to be named the Braves’ #1 prospect. The catcher was a top-ten pick in 2019, drafted primarily for his elite defensive skills, but his progression with the stick should have fans giddy for his future debut at the Major League level.
Langeliers caught 92 games for the Mississippi Braves last season, smashing 22 homers and recording an .836 OPS. That will certainly play, but perhaps even more impressively, he threw out 42% of would-be base stealers. In today’s game where well-rounded catchers are basically obsolete, Langeliers has the chance to be a breath of fresh air, and I fully expect him to be the starting catcher in Atlanta at some point in 2023.
But what should we expect from the former Baylor Bear in 2022? I’m intrigued to see what the Braves will do with him and William Contreras. Now that they have added Manny Piña to the mix, there’s a logjam at catcher in Gwinnett. Do they really let Contreras and Langeliers both play in AAA? That’s why most fans feel that Contreras could be on his way out via trade.
Regardless, I expect Langeliers to begin the season as the Stripers’ starting backstop. He will be 24 years old, and thrived in AA; Gwinnett is where he belongs. With that promotion oftentimes comes a learning curve, which is likely why the Braves locked up the veteran Piña for a couple of years, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Langeliers made a push to become Atlanta’s Opening Day catcher for 2023.
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