Some questions have been slightly edited to be shorter and more direct. If you have a question for the next Padres Prospect Mailbag that will be posted later in Spring Training, shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do the Padres really expect the hit tool to develop with Austin Hedges? 3MIL even for a Gold Glove-type catcher seems a little excessive given concerns about his hitting – Gabe
In short, yes. Hedges is a great example of a player in the draft who caused many teams to have differing opinions. While there was absolutely no one denying his defensive prowess, the combination of Hedges’ high school team almost never holding batting practice sessions that were open to scouts and media members and opponents constantly pitching around him led to few teams having much experience watching Hedges’ bat in action.
Luckily for the Padres, Jaron Madison and his team were able to get more good looks of Hedges than just about any other team in the league. Like with any player there’s no guarantee that Hedges will mature and progress to the point of reaching the majors, but you can be sure that no team in the league – not just the budget-minded Padres – would be willing to spend $3 million on a player they didn’t feel had a great chance of turning into a star.
It’s also important to remember just how low the hitting bar is at catcher in modern-day baseball. Outside of 2010, MLB catchers have produced the worst offensive output of any position in baseball every year since 2000. The Padres don’t need Hedges to post an .800 OPS to be a star with his defensive tools. Though should he get to that point – which a few key people in the organization believe he can – you’re looking at a perennial All Star.
There’s been a lot of talk about breakout players for 2012, but who do you think is going to slide a bit on lists? – Angel Continue reading “Padres Prospect Mailbag: 2012 Spring Training Part 1” »