The Swing and Approach
Shea Langeliers gets down into a crouch for his stance, not too different than what he does behind the plate.
It’s not nearly Jeff Bagwell-like, but it is rare these days to see somebody with such a closed-off stance.
That leads to a very moderate leg-kick, while there isn’t a ton of movement in the hands. Although, I do at times notice him getting “jumpy” with his hands at times when he loads, which can lead to some swing-and-miss.
He does get his hips through early, but because of that closed-off stance, I don’t feel like he even gets to his full power potential with very little hip rotation.
It’s crazy to think how much power he’s already generating with mostly just using his upper body.
But the bat path through the zone is beautiful and he stays down on the baseball.
I think what impressed me the most when going back and watching several games of Shea Langeliers was the number of times he drove the ball the opposite way like this.
That’s so impressive as a young hitter to be able to drive those pitches the other way. It seemed like he did it at least once in every game I watched.
But if you came in with the heat, he was able to use those quick hands and hips to pull one out on you as well.
One thing is pretty obvious, don’t throw this man a fastball over the middle of the plate.
Like most young hitters in the minors, he seemed to be hunting the fastball.
His approach allows him to do this as he can be very patient and wait for when he has count leverage and feels confident he’s getting a fastball.
And that really leads to my only drawback with Shea Langeliers — sometimes he sits on the fastball too much and that leads to him swinging and missing at the offspeed a lot.
In the big leagues, when pitchers aren’t afraid to throw off-speed pitches in 2-1 and even 3-1 counts when you expect a fastball, that could become a problem.
Of course, that’s an adjustment almost all prospects have to make at the big league level.
But there was one game (out of the 10 or so I watched) where the pitcher kept throwing him off-speed and breaking balls over the plate and he was just whiffing on them.
His 26.2 percent strikeout rate at Double-A is concerning, but as long as he’s guessing right 20-plus times a year most teams can live with that at the catcher position.