I mean, this one’s obvious, right? The former second-round pick of the 2011 MLB Draft has been a massive disappointment, offensively. He was always a defensive catcher first with the potential for the bat to develop, but that has yet to happen.
I have little reason to believe that will occur in Austin Hedges‘ career. The fact of the matter is that he simply cannot hit. The Padres tendered him a one-year, $3 million deal, and that was likely because he’s been so good behind the plate.
Hedges was second only to J.T. Realmuto for best defensive catcher last year, but he was the second-worst offensive catcher in the league. That cannot continue beyond this year and was a big reason why the Padres failed to score more runs than they did.
With Luis Torrens now being considered for the starting catcher, there is a three-person race for the position with both Hedges and Francisco Mejia potentially below him through 12 spring games. Add to that that Luis Campusano is coming, and Hedges may be sent packing during or after the 2020 season.
He is under team control through the 2022 season, but I think we have more than enough sample size to understand what Hedges offers.