The plain power that drove Austin Hedges’ two residence runs Wednesday night time is essential.
Regardless of how good Hedges is at anything, the Padres can’t afford to have a spot in the batting order that sucks the life out of each inning of which it is half.
So long as that side of his recreation doesn’t disappear for lengthy stretches, the power to slug even a average amount makes Hedges viable.
What makes him invaluable, although, are issues that don’t convey a crowd to its ft and make the music blare and send fireworks into the sky.
It’s blocking a pitch in the filth and coaxing a strike name and preserving runners trustworthy. It’s figuring out opposing hitters, their tendencies and weaknesses to take advantage of and strengths to keep away from.
However it’s also a lot extra, and particularly on this staff.
It’s pulling a pitcher aside to speak about one thing he observed in his delivery. It’s the best way Hedges pumps his glove when the man 60-some ft away needs to consider he’s doing proper. It’s when he exhibits up to catch a bullpen he didn’t should because he felt it was essential to be an excellent companion. It’s the encouragement and the robust love. It’s that he knows pitchers better than they know themselves.
“The difference between him and different catchers is his care degree,” Craig Stammen stated. “You’ll be able to inform he cares about how nicely I’m pitching, how properly everyone else is pitching.”
The kid with the lightning swing may make you see stars, offer you a night you’ll never forget. The catcher with the velvet arms and reassuring voice is who you need to be holding onto with the bases juiced.
Whilst Francisco Mejia is demonstrating he’s already a serious league hitter, Hedges continues to show he’s still the Padres’ on a regular basis catcher.
Chicks dig the long ball. Pitchers need a good friend.
This isn’t about Hedges vs. Mejia, as a result of it’s nearly Hedges.
The Padres will discover a place for Mejia sooner or later. Who is aware of? He might catch 50 games this season. He may end up being their catcher for a decade.
Hedges, in reality, is doing all he can to assist Mejia together with his protection and skill to effectively communicate with pitchers. It’s plain to see Hedges drawing slightly extra out of the other catchers in camp identical to he pulls one of the best from pitchers.
It’s actually not a good comparability.
Hedges is 26 and has began 237 main league games at catcher and has a properly-earned popularity as top-of-the-line defenders within the recreation. Whether the metric is framing runs added or defensive runs saved, Hedges is within the prime four.
Mejia, 23, has began 10 major league video games as a catcher, has drastically improved his receiving expertise and protection but remains susceptible to the handed ball and continues to be studying English.
On a group whose pitchers are as young as the Padres’, the significance of the man working with them each pitch is nearly unattainable to overstate.
The typical age of the five pitchers who begin the season within the…