The Dodgers have made an interesting addition to the 2019 squad. Furthermore, this isn’t someone who will appear on the active roster. No, the Dodgers have added an experienced bullpen catcher to the staff for 2019. His name is Jonathan Langley – and while he may not get front page headlines – his story is worth being told.
Langley’s story to where he is now begins on the Georgia Teach Yellow Jacket roster. Moreover, he attempted to walk on and he was able to rub elbows with some future superstars. Obviously, this meant getting to know 2nd overall pick Joey Bart.
Before long, it was apparent that Langley’s attempt to walk on would not result in a roster spot. By his sophomore year the Georgia Tech roster included catcher Joey Bart, who went on to become the second overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft. So Hall allowed Langley to keep his uniform, and his mitt, and his place in the team’s media guide, in a different capacity: the team’s bullpen catcher.
Like Rudy, Langley spent four years as the Yellow Jacket’s bullpen catcher; never appearing in a game. It sounds like he took his role serious, and he honed his craft along the way.
“I enjoyed working with the pitchers, helping them to become better pitchers, seeing what the ball was doing behind the plate,” Langley said. “Helping the pitching coach to make our pitchers better: I knew my role on the team.”
If you read the linked story – teams pluck their bullpen catchers from a variety of places. No two arrive to the big leagues in the same way. Langley’s journey is no different, but he found a vein to the big time.
Langley found the connection he needed through Steve Tamborra, Georgia Tech’s strength and conditioning coach. Tamborra leads workouts for a handful of Atlanta-based big leaguers in the offseason, including Kyle Farmer, Alex Wood, Andrew Toles, Charlie Culberson, Daniel Palka and Matt Wieters. Last winter, Langley found himself in a gym with the group and decided to put his name out there.
This is a great story, and it’s good to know that Langley has some footing with current and past Dodgers. Often, it’s not an addition to the 40-man roster that breeds a culture of winning. It sounds like the Dodgers have once again added a quality member to the organization. When you do this enough times – it has a way of showing up in the box score.
Welcome to Los Angeles, Johnathan!
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