Minors : : General
Thursday, January 03, 2013

BP Top Prospects: San Diego Padres

Jason Parks        
Photo: Perfect Game
This story originally appeared on BaseballProspectus.com.  To view the full, original story, please visit this link.

State of the Farm: We take a walk, the sun is shining down, burns my feet as they touch the ground. Good day sunshine. Good day sunshine.”

Prospect rankings primer

 The Top Ten

  1. Austin Hedges
  2. OF Rymer Liriano
  3. LHP Max Fried
  4. RHP Casey Kelly
  5. IF Jedd Gyorko
  6. LHP Robbie Erlin
  7. RHP Joe Ross
  8. RHP Matt Wisler
  9. RHP Adys Portillo
  10. 2B Cory Spangenberg

1. Austin Hedges

Position: C
DOB: 08/18/1992
Height/Weight: 6’1’’ 190 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round, 2011 draft, Junipero Serra Catholic High School (San Juan Capistrano, CA)
2012 Stats: .279/.334/.451 at Low-A Fort Wayne (96 games)
The Tools: Elite defensive potential; 5 hit; 5 raw

What Happened in 2012:
 Hedges’s bat was better than advertised, as the defensive wizard showed signs of life and promise at the plate.

Strengths: High-end defensive tools behind the plate; plus-plus arm; excellent receiving skills; advanced game-calling skills; total defensive package; shows bat speed at the plate; hard out; can drive his pitch; not an empty hitter; below-average speed, but not a clogger.

Weaknesses: Lacks plus offensive tools; tripped up by off-speed offerings; defense will always be the bread winner.

Overall Future Potential: 7; all-star level talent

Explanation of Risk: High risk; bat is behind glove; limited professional experience.

Fantasy Future: Will be a premium defensive player, with a chance to hit .270 with 10-15 HR.

The Year Ahead: Hedges has a chance to really explode as a prospect, with his well known defensive chops being joined by a competent bat. His offensive numbers have a chance to improve in the hitter-friendly environments of the California League, where his solid-average raw power could start to shine. As is often the case, the word “average” reads like a bad word, a pejorative label attached to a less-than-stellar tool. But if Hedges’s bat can develop into an average weapon, he’s an all-star at the highest level.

Major league ETA: 2015

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