JSerra Catcher Austin Hedges signs $3 million contract with Padres

Former JSerra catcher Austin Hedges, considered by many to be the best prospect at his position in a decade, signed a $3 million deal to play for the San Diego Padres, according to reports this week.

Hedges, who had planned to play at UCLA, signed at the deadline, according to a report in the North County Times.

He was represented by Scott Boras, whose son played with Hedges on JSerra’s baseball team.

For more, read the NC Times story here.

Hedges’ first day out on the Padres field are captured here:

Padres sign draft pick Hedges

Hedges visits the booth

Hedges and Ross’ first pitch

Austin Hedges Voted to the 2011 All-County Baseball Team

JSerra graduate Austin Hedges

*Currently running on the OC Varsity 

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 Retires High School Jersey to Catch the San Diego Padres

Austin Hedges of JSerra Catholic High School

In the second round of the Major League Baseball draft today recent JSerra graduate Austin Hedges was chosen by the San Diego Padres as one of their catchers. While the excitement ensues, Hedges will be a tough sell out of his prior college commitment to UCLA, he made last fall. With super agent, and JSerra co-founder Scott Boras behind Hedges there is no guess worth making on this call.

To view Hedges MLB draft scouting report click 2011 Draft.

To view the MLB draft announcement click Padres.

MLB Comments: There may not be a better catcher in this class, at least defensively, than Hedges, a SoCal high school product. An extremely polished defender who draws comparisons to Craig Biggio and Brad Ausmus in terms of body type, Hedges has a plus throwing arm and outstanding receiving skills, not to mention a high-energy leadership style. How much he will hit will determine just how good an all-around backstop he’ll be. While he’s got a good approach at the plate, he hasn’t hit consistently. He does have natural power, and that’s a little bit ahead of his hit tool right now. He could be the type of catcher who hits .260 with 12-15 homers per year, and with his defensive acumen, that’s more than enough to be an everyday player. If he exceeds expectations with the bat, though, he could be an All-Star behind the plate. With a commitment to UCLA, it’s believed he will not be an easy sign after the Draft.

Fellow Alums and MLB hopefuls from JSerra include brothers Shane and Trent Boras both of which play for the USC Baseball team. Shane was previously drafted in the 35th round, 1,055 pick in 2008, likely that younger brother Trent starting this fall at USC will also be drafted.

JSerra Students Ban the Bag

By Madi Swayne for the San Clemente Times

JSerra students Katie & Kristy Hibbard traveled to Sacramento to support the effort to ban the use of plastic bags nationally. The following is from a story by the SC Times:

“This past summer, Assemblywoman Julia Brownley authored a bill proposing a statewide ban of single-use plastic bags to alleviate plastic pollution. When the bill, AB 1998, failed in Senate by only a few votes, many environmental groups, employees and businesses were saddened by the loss, but vowed not to give up feeling they had the momentum to continue.

On Monday, November 29, Green Cities California (GCC) a coalition of 13 top environmentally friendly cities, joined together in a press conference on the western steps of the California State Capitol. Members of the GCC along with the Clean Seas Coalition spoke, “To promote a statewide strategy of local governments adopting a uniform single use bag ordinance that is based on AB 1998.”

Members of Green Cities California include Berkeley, Hayward, Los Angeles, Marin County, Oakland, Pasadena, Richmond, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara and Santa Monica. Representatives from each of these cities were in attendance along with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and my group of youth leaders from the South Orange County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

Kirsty Hibbard (JSerra Catholic High School), Katie Hibbard (JSerra Catholic High School), Lulu Erkeneff (Dana Hills High School) and I, Madi Swayne (San Clemente High School), all traveled to Sacramento to restate our support for a statewide plastic bag ban.”

Read more on the San Clemente Times website.