A slow start has become something different for Shea Langeliers. Much different.
MLB's No. 59 overall prospect homered three times and equaled his career high with four hits to power Double-A Mississippi past Pensacola, 9-4, on Wednesday night. It was Langeliers' second multi-homer performance of the season and his fourth round-tripper in five games, one more than he hit in his first 15 contests.
The three-homer game was the first by an M-Braves player since Ryan Casteel in 2019.
"For me, most of it was just getting into the rhythm of the season," Langeliers said. "I try not to look too much into it. Feeling good at the plate is always the key. Some nights you have it and some nights you don’t. When I was rounding the bases [after the third homer], I saw all the guys in the dugout smiling and cheering. It was a lot of fun tonight."
The No. 3 Braves prospect ended May on a tear, going 8-for-19 with three extra-base hits and five RBIs during a five-game hitting streak. The stretch included a pair of multihit efforts which raised his average 80 points to .259. An 0-for-4 on Tuesday temporarily halted his roll, but Langeliers kicked his offense back into gear with a solo blast in the top of the first. The 23-year-old went deep again leading off the third, singled in the fifth and completed the first three-home run game of his career with another solo shot in the seventh. Looking for a fourth long ball and a fifth hit, Langeliers struck out in the eighth.
"I tried to keep [a third home run] out of my mind," Langeliers said. "The worst thing a hitter can do is get away from his approach at the plate. I wanted to keep it simple and just get the barrel to the ball."
Since his averaged dipped to .179 on May 23, the Portland, Ore., native has hit safely in seven of nine games to increase his slash line to .284/.407/.642 with 10 extra-base hits, 13 RBIs and 12 walks in 67 at-bats.
The ninth overall pick in the 2019 Draft has taken a liking to Pensacola pitching in particular. Langoliers has gone 7-for-25 with five home runs and seven RBIs in eight games against the Blue Wahoos. The Baylor product has two homers and driven in six runs in 42 at-bats against the rest of the league in 2021.
"The biggest role I have on this team is as a catcher," Langeliers said. "Catching comes first, hitting comes second. I can help control the game from there and that's my primary job. Hitting will come and go. That's just he way it is, but if I keep it simple and not try to do too much at the plate, I think I'll be fine."
Braves No. 14 prospect Trey Harris doubled twice and matched Langeliers with four hits and three RBIs.