According to an article by Corey Brock of MLB.com, Padres catching prospect Austin Hedges is on his way to becoming the real deal. Hedges was drafted out of high school by the Padres in 2011, and inked to a three million dollar signing bonus. The Padres believe the 21 year old is progressing nicely within their farm system. Most notably, Bud Black is quoted in Brock’s article saying, “He’s getting really close just to, mechanically, catching in the big leagues.”
Hedges is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) where he has thrown out 11 of 21 base stealers. Although he impresses with his defensive skills, Hedges is hitting .294 in the AFL. If Hedges can continue to improve his offensive production, he will likely make the jump to Triple-A El Paso in 2014.
In a recent interview with MLB.com, Hedges appears to be a mature ballplayer determined to succeed as a major leaguer. A certain level of maturity and patience will help the young star build upon his talent in the minors. Good luck Austin!