Former TinCaps catcher Austin Hedges made his Major League Baseball debut on Monday against the San Francisco Giants after being promoted by the Padres from Triple-A El Paso. The California native played for the TinCaps in 2012 and was a Midwest League All-Star as he hit .279 with a team-leading 28 doubles, 10 home runs, and 56 RBIs in 96 games. His home run and RBI totals were both good for second on the club that season.
Hedges joins Jace Peterson, Frank Garces, and Matt Stites as members of Fort Wayne’s 2012 team who already have made it to the show. In total, that’s now 133 former Fort Wayne TinCaps or Wizards who have made it to the big leagues.
Hedges received the news on El Paso’s team bus on Sunday. A day later, he got his first pinch-hit opportunity at San Francisco’s AT&T Park against the reigning World Series MVP, Madison Bumgarner.
“That was pretty cool to get my name called in that situation," Hedges said to U-T San Diego’s Dennis Lin. "I felt good at the plate. (Bumgarner) obviously does some good things on the mound, but other than the result, I had an absolute blast out there.”
On Wednesday, Hedges got the start behind the dish and went 1-4 with two RBIs in San Diego’s 9-1 win over San Francisco.
It was only a matter of time before the former second-round draft pick was called up to the majors. Hedges is considered the fourth best catching prospect in all of Minor League Baseball according to MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Watch. He was hitting .324 with two home runs and 15 RBI’s this season with Triple-A El Paso and was tied for eighth in the Pacific League with eight doubles.
Recent TinCaps Making Their Major League Debuts
INF Jace Peterson – San Diego Padres – April 25, 2014
RHP Matt Stites – Arizona Diamondbacks – June 19, 2014
LHP Frank Garces – San Diego Padres – August 19, 2014
C Austin Hedges – San Diego Padres – May 4, 2015
RHP Leonel Campos – San Diego Padres – September 3, 2014