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
$Signed a one-year $2.06 million contract with the Padres on Friday, avoiding arbitration.
Avoids arbitration with Padres
CSan Diego Padres
January 11, 2019
Hedges signed a one-year, $2.06 million contract with San Diego on Friday, avoiding arbitration., Robert Murray of The Athletic reports.
Hedges posted a .231/.282/.429 slash line with 14 home runs in 326 plate appearances in 2018 as he split time with veteran A.J. Ellis and then rookie Francisco Mejia behind the plate. The Padres are likely to give Mejia a chance to earn the starting gig, but Hedges remains a solid defense-first option, though his fantasy outlook will remain limited with playing time not guaranteed.
Read More News
Batting Stats
Loading Batting Stats...
MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Loading Batting Game Log...
Minor League Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Loading Minor League Batting Game Log...
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .642 220 19 8 20 1 .218 .268 .374
Since 2016vs Right .682 549 48 24 73 6 .219 .266 .415
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
2016vs Left 1.000 5 2 0 0 0 .400 .400 .600
2016vs Right .148 21 0 0 1 0 .053 .095 .053
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
Since 2016Home .633 390 34 14 48 6 .211 .262 .371
Since 2016Away .708 379 33 18 45 1 .227 .272 .436
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
2016Home .229 18 1 0 1 0 .118 .111 .118
2016Away .536 8 1 0 0 0 .143 .250 .286
More Splits View More Split Stats
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 Rate
K Rate
Advanced Batting Stats
Loading Advanced Batting Stats...
Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
Loading Games Played by Position...
Loading MLB Defensive Stats...
Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
Want more matchup stats?
Loading Matchup Stats...
Padres Depth Chart
Our full team depth charts are reserved for RotoWire subscribers.
Subscribe Now
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Austin Hedges
Farm Futures: A Dose of Reality for Padres Fans
55 days ago
James Anderson considers what kind of prospect haul might realistically bring Noah Syndergaard west to San Diego.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
136 days ago
Jan Levine speculates on a closer change in St. Louis and highlights other pickups from the Senior Circuit who could help in the final weeks.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Friday Picks
138 days ago
Chris Morgan recommends looking at Yankees righty Masahiro Tanaka in the series opener with struggling Seattle.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
150 days ago
Jan Levine analyzes the top free agents in the National League, including Wilmer Difo, who will take over at second base for the departed Daniel Murphy.
DraftKings MLB: Tuesday Picks
155 days ago
Derek VanRiper explores Tuesday's DraftKings slate in depth, recommending Rays hurler Blake Snell against visiting Kansas City.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
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
Sits out Saturday
CSan Diego Padres
September 29, 2018
Hedges is not starting Saturday against Arizona.
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Sticks on bench Monday
CSan Diego Padres
September 24, 2018
Hedges is not in the lineup Monday against the Giants, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Not in Sunday's lineup
CSan Diego Padres
September 23, 2018
Hedges is not starting Sunday against the Dodgers.
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Gets breather Friday
CSan Diego Padres
September 21, 2018
Hedges is not in Friday's starting lineup against the Dodgers.
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Day off Wednesday
CSan Diego Padres
September 19, 2018
Hedges is not in the lineup against the Giants on Wednesday.
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.