The San Diego Padres have a history of having terrific catchers, and they hope they have continued that tradition with the selection Tuesday of Austin Hedges in the second round.
Hedges, 18, a right-handed hitting catcher for San Juan Capistrano JSerra, has signed with UCLA. Regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in the draft, Hedges (6-1, 190) is a strong leader who has the potential to be an all-star if he is an above average hitter at the major league level.
Hedges batted .439 for JSerra, which was 24-5 during the season. He was the second catcher drafted by the Padres, who also selected Brett Austin from Charlotte (NC) Providence High with the No. 54 pick. Among position players, Hedges was ranked 28th by Baseball America, Austin was No. 61. Hedges' commitment to UCLA is thought to be a strong one.
Left-handed pitcher Henry Owens of Edison was selected No. 36 by Boston, and third baseman Travis Harrison of Tustin was chosen No. 50 by Minnesota on the first day of the draft. Tuesday, Owen's teammate, Christian Lopes, was drafted by Toronto.
Here is a look at players from Orange County schools and colleges who were selected in the first half of the draft's second day (through 16 rounds):
82. San Diego: Austin Hedges, JSerra, C, 6-1, 190, R/R
131. Milwaukee: Nick Ramirez, Cal State Fullerton (Katella HS), 1B, 6-3, 225, L/L
132. NY Mets: Tyler Pill, Cal State Fullerton, RHP, 6-1, 185, L/R
142. Boston: Noe Ramirez, Cal State Fullerton, RHP, 6-3, 180, R/R
148. Minnesota: Matt Summers, UC Irvine, RHP, 6-1, 205, L/R
210. Tampa Bay: Jake Floethe, Cal State Fullerton, RHP, 6-3, 205, R/R
229. Toronto: Christian Lopes, Huntington Beach Edison, SS, 6-0, 165, R/R
256. Oakland: Colin O’Connell, Cal State Fullerton, RHP, 6-6, 200, L/R
312. NY Mets: Matthew Budgell, Irvine Woodbridge, RHP, 6-2, 150, R/R