The Oakland Athletics decided to call up top prospect Shea Langeliers in mid-August. His brief stint in the big leagues has featured mostly positives. The A’s see Langeliers as their long-term plan at the catching position. Laneliers call up leaves Sean Murphy as a question mark for the team. The team decided not to trade Murphy at the deadline. Murphy still has three more years of team control after the 2022 season.
Both of these guys have outstanding abilities behind the plate. The difference maker will be which one can produce more at the plate. Murphy has more experience, so we’ll have to give Langeliers the time he needs to develop. The A’s may take more than a year to figure things out with these two.
Shea Langeliers Performance
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 1, 2022
The A’s decided to take their time with Langeliers. The prized 24-year-old catcher was producing all year at Triple-A Las Vegas. In 92 games with Vegas, Langeliers hit .283 with 19 doubles and 19 home runs. The question of when he was going to get his chance had become the hot topic for the A’s organization. It’s too early to tell exactly how much Langeliers will be able to produce, but we’ve seen encouraging signs. Through his first seventeen games in the majors, Langeliers is 15/68 with five doubles and three home runs. In the first pitch he saw in the big leagues, he lined a double down the left field line for his first career hit. The A’s picked up a win in his major league debut.
Langeliers started off hot but has since cooled off. He rebounded with a clutch two-hit performance vs the Nationals, a game the A’s, unfortunately, blew. Langeliers has turned into a middle-of-the-order guy with the team. It’s exactly where the A’s intended he’d be after acquiring him in the Matt Olson trade back in March. The Baylor product immediately became the A’s top prospect, so his call-up was much anticipated, given the team’s current rebuild state.
How Langelier Fits With the Team
The A’s are not a good team, but they have a lot of talent at the catching position. Langeliers and Murphy are the two main guys in the big league club. The team also has catchers Tyler Soderstrom and 2022 first-round pick Daniel Susac developing their talents in the minor leagues. It’s the best problem the underperforming A’s face. But, they will have to take action to ensure talent is distributed to other position groups.
One option is to keep both players until Soderstrom gets called up. His promotion could lead to trading Murphy, who still has team control left on his contract. If he keeps it up, he’ll be a prized possession on the trade market. Murphy has been the best hitter in the A’s lineup this season and has picked up his play since the beginning of July. Since Langeliers’ call-up, the A’s have given each of them time as a catcher and DH.
The A’s could also move Murphy to first base, where he has some experience playing. Langeliers played eight games at first base when he was in college, but other than that, he has strictly been a catcher. The A’s only have two places to put Langeliers but could try to convert him over the off-season if he agrees. Ultimately, the best fit for him will be as the A’s long-term catcher.
Langeliers Has Potential
Langeliers has all-star potential and could be the face of the A’s organization. He’ll likely stay on the big league roster for the rest of the season, where he will continue to split time at the catching position. If he can turn into a guy who gives you 30+ home runs a year with a solid average and great defensive abilities, the A’s will have a great player. It’d be smart to see how things play out with both Langeliers and Murphy on the roster, at least until next year’s trade deadline.
Langeliers’ call-up is exciting for A’s fans. He should continue to be successful for the remainder of the year. It will be a great sign for this team as the 2022 season represents a low point in the A’s rebuild. Langeliers is the first of a few highly touted prospects we’ll see making their way to Oakland over the next few years. Expect Langeliers to turn himself into a top-five catcher in the league over the next few seasons.