C Shea Langeliers, Baylor
The Phillies swung for the fences trading for J.T. Realmuto during the offseason, giving up their best prospect, Sixto Sanchez, as well as a promising young catcher and former top prospect Jorge Alfaro. They did this despite Realmuto hitting free agency after the 2020 season with no guarantees that he will stick around.
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If Realmuto doesn’t sign an extension and leaves in free agency next year, the Phillies don’t have a clear replacement in the organization. Even if Realmuto does stay, a better backup catcher than Andrew Knapp or a replacement-level veteran won’t hurt. Enter Shea Langeliers.
If it weren’t for consensus No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman, Langeliers would be the best catcher in this class.
He threw out almost 70% of potential base stealers with his plus arm. Langeliers also draws vast praise for his pitch framing ability, something the Phillies have placed heavy emphasis.
While Langeliers is a great defensive catcher, his offense doesn’t quite stack up. He finished with an .860 OPS in 37 games this year, only slightly better than his sophomore year. Both of these years were stark dropoffs from a stellar freshman year, making that first season seem like the outlier.
Langelier’s questionable offense is what could lead to him being available at No. 14 for Philadelphia. However, he showed enough upside in college that he could still make it as an average hitter, especially for a catcher. Either way, he profiles as a backup catcher at worst, which may be all Philadelphia will need for the foreseeable future.