Pound For Pound, The Best Catcher

There is nothing physical striking about Torre Langley. After all, he stands at just 5'10 and weights only 175 pounds – and those numbers could be considered very generous. However, you don't judge a book by its cover, and you shouldn't judge Langley by his physical appearance. The top rated catcher has tremendous power potential and is a solid hitter. Above all that, Langley is an outstanding catcher, and is just learning to play the position after making the switch three years ago.

Langley weighed just two pounds and fifteen ounces at birth, but has not experienced any health problems. The youngster has never been anxious to change his body and does not plan on lifting weights until his high school career is over. Along the same lines, Langley did not begin catching until he entered high school.

"My father didn't want me to catch full time until high school so I could take it easy on my knees," Langley said from his Winston, Georgia home. "I used to be a shortstop, but catching came natural to me."

Langley is still working on the fundamentals of catching, but his arm is one tool that needs no work. The Alexander High School senior has a powerful throwing arm and is now working on the other aspects of catching.

"My arm is the strongest part of my defensive game and lots of scouts have praised me on that. However, my goal is to get my blocking skills better."

Pitchers also fall in love with Langley with the way he calls the game and his knack to keep runners from stealing.

Langley, named after current Yankees manager Joe Torre, batted .459 with three home runs, nineteen runs batted in and also contributed with 39 hits, and 19 runs scored during his junior year of high school. Langley also made the 2005 USA Junior Olympic team.

"The experience with the USA Junior Olympic team was one I will never forget and one of my greatest baseball moments."

However, just last week Langley received more positive news from his high school baseball coach.

"He called me to tell me I was named among the Preseason High School All-Americans."

Langley changed his hitting approach slightly during the AFLAC All-American game this past summer, and as a result it generated more power for him and makes him a complete player.

"I used to be an inside-out hitter, but since the AFLAC game I opened up more and found it creates more power. My motto is to take everything the other way and hit behind runners."

Offensively Langley compares his game to Jorge Posada because he is not a real strong guy, but gets the job done. Defensively, he resembles Ivan Rodriguez – a small catcher in stature, but very productive in all aspects of the game.

Langley is excited about the 2006 First Year Player Draft and his ultimate goal is to be drafed.

"That's what I am working for. For the past three years I trained for this senior season. I hope I get better and better because that is what scouts are looking for. Come June, I hope I get in the draft and picked early."

Langley said he matured faster because he has spent so much time on the road and in hotel rooms since age twelve.

"God has been good to me and my family has been very supportive. I have had no major bumps in the road and I hope that continues.

The issue is not whether or not Langley gets drafted, because barring an injury, he is certain to be an early round pick. T he question remains whether Langley will sign a professional contract or attend Georgia Tech University. Langley selected Georgia Tech over Virginia, Georgia, Miami and Baylor.

"I love the Georgia Tech baseball program. They have a winning tradition, a good educational program and above all my family can watch me play."

Danny Hall, the head coach for Georgia Tech, is very excited about the chance Langley stepping on campus in August.

"Pound-for-pound, Torre Langley may be the best baseball player in the country. He is an excellent catcher and he has one of the best throwing arms that I have seen. His brother (Dustin) was a college baseball player at Georgia Southern. I feel like he's an excellent baseball player, and an excellent catcher. He is the kind of guy that could play a lot of different positions on the field because he is a very good athlete and a great competitor."

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