Ken Waldichuk, Shea Langeliers keys to Oakland A’s future core

Sep 18, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Ken Waldichuk (64) hands the ball to manager Mark Kotsay (7) during a pitching change in the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Ken Waldichuk (64) hands the ball to manager Mark Kotsay (7) during a pitching change in the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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As the Oakland A’s look to come out of their rebuild, they need to find pieces to build their future core around. The young battery of Ken Waldichuk and Shea Langeliers would be a good place to start.

The two players could not have a different path thus far. Langeliers had been one of the top catching prospects in the game since he was drafted, a consensus top 100 prospect heading into the 2022 season. Waldichuk, meanwhile, never cracked that list, but forced his way into those conversations with his eye catching performances as he worked his way up through the minors.

Ken Waldichuk, Shea Langeliers biggest Oakland A’s building blocks

Both players came to the A’s in blockbuster trades. Langeliers was one of the headliners in the Matt Olson deal, someone that could be the A’s next star behind the plate. Waldichuk was part of the Frankie Montas trade at the deadline with the A’s hoping that they found their next top of the rotation arm.

Both players showed their potential during their brief time in the majors. Langeliers posted a somewhat disappointing .218/.261/.430 batting line in his 153 plate appearances, striking out 53 times. However, he also displayed the power that makes him such an intriguing prospect as he hit ten doubles and six homers.

Waldichuk had an inconsistent showing in the majors, with three rough outings in between four solid performances. Overall, he posted a 4.93 ERA and a 1.212 WHiP over his 34.2 innings, striking out 33 batters with ten walks. He saved the best for last, firing seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out four in the A’s final game of the season.

It is not always going to be pretty in 2023. Waldichuk and Langeliers are going to have their struggles at times. But it is all about progress in 2023 – if Waldichuk and Langeliers can take steps forward and be more consistent, they should be able to emerge as key building blocks for years to come.

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Ken Waldichuk and Shea Langeliers are going to be key to the Oakland A’s most recent rebuild. If they are going to find success, these two have to develop.

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