Hedges was selected Trinity League co-most valuable player for a season in which he hit .360 with 31 hits, 11 doubles, two triples, four home runs and drove in 16 runs. He also was one of the better defensive catchers in recent county history. Hedges was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the second round. He signed with UCLA.
Hedges, of San Juan Capistrano JSerra High, has signed with UCLA, but pro teams may try to talk him out of it. His coach
says his skills are already at the big-league level.
Catchers wear lots of equipment to protect their face, chest, head, knees and ankles. They play the most demanding position in baseball. They’re stuck in an uncomfortable crouch for pitch after pitch, getting dirty, nicked up and abused.
Yet, Austin Hedges of San Juan Capistrano JSerra acts as if catching is as therapeutic as spending a day at the beach.
“It’s more challenging, but that’s why I like it,” he said.