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Prospect rankings primer
The Top Ten
1. Austin Hedges
Height/Weight: 6’1’’ 190 lbs.
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.
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