Langeliers, Elder Named Atlanta Braves Minor League Player & Pitcher of the Year
Published 4:31 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2021
ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves today announced that RHP Bryce Elder has won the 2021 Phil Niekro Award as the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year, while C Shea Langeliers is the club’s 2021 Hank Aaron Award winner as the team’s top minor league position player.
Elder, 22, pitched across three levels of the organization this season, going a combined 11-5 with a 2.76 ERA (41 ER/133.2 IP) and 151 strikeouts in 24 games, all starts. He walked 52 and limited the opposition to a .194 average.
Elder began the year with Single-A Rome, serving as the R-Braves’ Opening Day starter on May 4 at Winston Salem. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound native of Decatur, Texas, earned his first professional win on May 21 vs. Bowling Green and went 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA (13 ER/45.0 IP) in nine games, all starts, at Single-A before a promotion to Double-A Mississippi on June 29.
With Mississippi, Elder won Double-A South Pitcher of the Week for July 5-July 11, and Double-A South Pitcher of the Month for July. He went 7-1 with a 3.21 ERA (20 ER/56.0 IP) in nine games, all starts, with the M-Braves, and combined with RHP Daysbel Hernández to throw a no-hitter on July 10 vs. Pensacola. Elder tossed 7.0 innings in that start, striking out six and walking four.
He joined Triple-A Gwinnett on August 17, becoming the first member of the club’s 2020 draft class to reach the Stripers. Elder made six starts with Gwinnett, going 2-3 with a 2.20 ERA (8 ER/32.2 IP) and 36 strikeouts.
Drafted in the fifth round of last year’s draft out of the University of Texas at Austin, Elder is the club’s 11th-best prospect according to MLB.com. His 133.2 minor league innings rank first in all of baseball, while his 11 wins are tied for the fifth-most.
Langeliers, 23, spent the season with Double-A Mississippi, helping the M-Braves to the Double-A South title. He hit 22 home runs, tying for the second-most ever in a single season in M-Braves franchise history while compiling a .836 OPS.
Langeliers is the club’s third-best prospect according to MLB.com, two years after being drafted ninth overall out of Baylor University by the Braves. The 6-foot-0, 205-pound native of Portland, Ore., hit .258 (85-for-329) in 92 games for the M-Braves and threw out 28 of 69 potential base stealers (40.6%). For reference, Los Angeles’ Will Smith leads the majors this season with 22 caught stealing.
Langeliers won the Double-A South Player of the Week award for June 25-30, and also compiled a team-best 13-game hit streak, July 24-August 13.
The Mississippi Braves claimed the 2021 Double-A South Championship on Sunday by beating the Montgomery Biscuits 2-1 at Trustmark Park. The league title is the second in team history.