Padres AAA Catcher Austin Hedges has been swinging a hot bat in the minors. Will he get called up some time soon? You have to wonder if he will.
In 57 games this season, Hedges has batted .340 with 17 home runs and 64 RBIs entering Friday.
Hedges appeared in 56 games last season for the Padres and struggled. He batted .168 with three home runs and 11 RBI. The 23-year old could perform much better this time around now that he has more experience. Getting his feet wet last year and getting more playing time in the minors should really help him.
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“The biggest thing I took from it was having a consistent routine each day,” Hedges said last month. “Show up at the field, prepare myself both physically and mentally. I learned a lot by watching and listening from other teammates, and I’m trying to apply that to my game.” (MILB.COM)
Derek Norris has been the Padres starting catcher all season, but you have to think he will be gone soon. Maybe not until after the season, but it does not look like he has much of a future in San Diego. Many were surprised the Padres couldn’t get a deal done especially some of the drama surrounding fellow catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
Last season, Norris, 27, batted .250 with 14 home runs and 62 RBIs in 147 games in his first season with the Padres. This season he is only batting .192 with 12 home runs and 35 RBIs in 92 games.
Hedges was drafted by the Padres in the second round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Jserra Catholic High School (San Juan Capistrano, CA). He had committed to UCLA, but signed with the Padres for $3 million.
The Padres are 47-61 entering Friday. It is time for them to start thinking more and more about 2017. The Padres should give Hedges another shot soon. He has earned it, while Norris has not done enough to keep his job.