Austin Hedges
Austin Hedges
26-Year-Old CatcherC
San Diego Padres
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Hedges does some things well and some things poorly. The 26-year-old is one of the premier pitch framers in the major leagues, and has a strong and accurate throwing arm behind the plate. He also has legitimate in-game power, as evidenced by his 32 combined home runs over the past two seasons. Hedges' .198 ISO ranked sixth among all catchers with at least 300 plate appearances. However, that power comes with a lot of swing and miss. He trimmed his strikeout rate a bit in 2018 but it was still 27.6%, and those contact issues make him a big batting-average liability. According to Statcast, Hedges' xBA was a mere .212, so it could have been a lot worse in 2018. The catcher position is so bad that Hedges is certainly relevant, but he needs the playing time to accumulate counting stats. As things stand, Hedges will likely be in a timeshare with Francisco Mejia in San Diego. His outlook would brighten with a trade. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#308
ADP
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$Signed a one-year $2.06 million contract with the Padres on Friday, avoiding arbitration.
Smacks third homer
CSan Diego Padres
April 21, 2019
Hedges went 2-for-3 with a solo home run Sunday against the Reds.
ANALYSIS
Hedges took Tyler Mahle deep in the third inning for his third home run of the season. Despite a slow start to the season, Hedges has remained the primary starter behind the dish for the Padres ahead of Francisco Mejia. He'll look to improve on his .200/.259/.400 line as the team begins a series against the Mariners on Tuesday.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
5
6
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
3
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+10%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+11%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+8%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+14%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .637 226 18 9 22 1 .210 .265 .371
Since 2017vs Right .698 571 50 26 77 6 .225 .272 .426
2019vs Left .717 11 1 1 2 0 .111 .273 .444
2019vs Right .646 43 2 2 5 0 .220 .256 .390
2018vs Left .675 96 9 5 10 0 .213 .271 .404
2018vs Right .726 230 20 9 27 3 .238 .287 .439
2017vs Left .600 119 8 3 10 1 .214 .261 .339
2017vs Right .684 298 28 15 45 3 .215 .263 .422
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+5%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+71%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+21%
OPS on Road
2017
 
 
+1%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .665 402 34 15 49 6 .221 .277 .388
Since 2017Away .697 395 34 20 50 1 .220 .263 .434
2019Home .811 30 1 1 2 0 .296 .367 .444
2019Away .473 24 2 2 5 0 .087 .125 .348
2018Home .642 161 14 5 17 2 .215 .273 .369
2018Away .778 165 15 9 20 1 .247 .291 .487
2017Home .662 211 19 9 30 4 .215 .267 .395
2017Away .658 206 17 9 25 0 .214 .257 .401
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Stat Review
How does Austin Hedges compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB/K
0.15
 
BB Rate
3.7%
 
K Rate
24.1%
 
BABIP
.206
 
ISO
.200
 
AVG
.200
 
OBP
.259
 
SLG
.400
 
OPS
.659
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Padres Depth Chart
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Austin Hedges
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31 days ago
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Hedges took over as the Padres' primary catcher in 2017, playing 120 games and retaining some of the home-run gains he brought to the table at Triple-A El Paso in 2016. Unfortunately, top-level pitching nearly doubled Hedges' strikeout rate from his Triple-A mark, as he fanned 29.3 percent of the time last season. Not surprisingly, Hedges' batting average tumbled to .214, and his low walk rate (5.5 percent) kept him from being more of an asset to the San Diego lineup. One thing working in his favor, however, is that his defense will continue to afford him a lot of playing time. Moreover, Hedges' development of game power took several years as he advanced through the system, but strikeouts were never an overwhelming issue for him throughout his time as a prospect. At 25, he may not be a completely finished project as a hitter, but expecting more than a .230-.240 average and 20 homers is likely a stretch.
Always lauded for his ability behind the plate as a defense-first catching prospect, Hedges had a breakout at Triple-A El Paso in 2016 with a surge of power (21 homers) and a strong .326/.353/.597 line before he was promoted to San Diego in September. With Derek Norris in tow, the Padres were hesitant to leave Hedges on the Opening Day roster as a backup, and the decision to give him regular playing time at Triple-A appears to have paid off. Hedges has benefited from his time in the Pacific Coast League by playing half of his games at El Paso over the past two seasons, but his career .326/.361/.583 line at Triple-A suggests that he has nothing left to prove in the minors. The Padres certainly must have thought so, as they dealt Derek Norris to the Nationals to clear the path for Hedges to become the team's workhorse backstop. His developing power and low strikeout rate (career 16.6 percent in the minors) make him a useful cheap option in two-catcher formats.
Hedges was called up on May 5 and was with the big league club the rest of the way, working primarily in a backup role. Offensively, there is a lot of room for improvement, which is not a surprise because he is a defense-first catcher. With elite skills behind the plate, the Padres don't need to be overwhelmingly concerned about his output with the bat. As long as Derek Norris remains in San Diego, the Padres will likely lean on Hedges to spell him as a backup seeing approximately a start or two per week.
Hedges spent all of 2014 at Double-A San Antonio, where questions have surfaced regarding his ability to hit upper level pitching. Just 22, defense has been the calling card for Hedges to this point in his development, and he may continue advancing through the San Diego system even after posting a sub-.600 OPS in the Texas League last season. While he will carry plenty of value to the Padres regardless of his offensive ceiling, owners hoping to lock up a quality bat at a scarce position in dynasty leagues may want to look elsewhere. At his peak, Hedges could have enough power to push double-digit home runs annually, but it may come with a low average. He has all of the tools to be a premier defensive player upon arrival, which could afford him more regular playing time than his bat is actually ready for. Hedges will likely begin 2015 at Triple-A El Paso, but he should get his first look in the big leagues before the end of the season.
Hedges, one of the top catching prospects in baseball, reached the Texas League as a 20-year-old this past season. In 86 games between High-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio, he combined to post a .260 average with four homers, 38 RBI, 38 runs, eight steals, and a 28:54 BB:K ratio. If his skill set as a hitter wasn't enough, he's thrown out 32 percent (87-of-269) of potential basestealers in his two-plus minor league seasons. If all goes as planned, he should reach Triple-A Tucson at some point in 2014.
A 2011 second-round draft pick, Hedges is a defensive minded catcher still working his way through the Padres' minor league system. The fact that his glove is his main strength should only help to speed up his timetable to the majors. Last season, the Padres thought so highly of him they sent him to Low-A Fort Wayne for the full season, where hit .279/.334/.451 with 10 homers over 373 plate appearances. At High-A Lake Elsinore of the California League, his numbers should spike as the ball is known to carry in those parks. Only 20 years old, Hedges needs time to develop his bat and hone all the skills that are required to play catcher at the major league level. Keep him in mind, when you're thinking about prospects with long-term upside.
More Fantasy News
On bench Saturday
CSan Diego Padres
April 20, 2019
Hedges is not starting Saturday against the Reds.
ANALYSIS
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Gets another breather
CSan Diego Padres
April 16, 2019
Hedges isn't in Tuesday's starting lineup against the Rockies.
ANALYSIS
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Not starting Sunday
CSan Diego Padres
April 14, 2019
Hedges is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Diamondbacks.
ANALYSIS
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Starting Thursday
CSan Diego Padres
April 11, 2019
Hedges is catching and hitting eighth for San Diego's game against the Diamondbacks on Thursday.
ANALYSIS
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On bench Wednesday
CSan Diego Padres
April 10, 2019
Hedges is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Giants.
ANALYSIS
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