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Padres legend Hoffman throws surprise BP

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Imagine the surprise Padres catcher Austin Hedges got Monday when he stepped in the cage for his first live batting practice session of spring.

Trevor Hoffman, the former Padres great, was getting ready to pitch to him.

"I definitely did a little double-take," said Hedges, the No. 5 prospect in the Padres' organization according to MLB.com.

"I was like, 'Whoa, Trevor Hoffman is throwing me batting practice.'"

The 20-year-old Hedges is in his first big league camp with the team. A second-round Draft pick in 2011, he's regarded as one of the top catching prospects in the Minor Leagues.

Hedges worked several times this past winter with former Major League catcher Brad Ausmus who, like Hoffman, is a special assistant in the Padres front office.

On Monday, Hedges got to dig in against Hoffman, who saved 552 of his 601 career saves in 16 seasons with the Padres from 1993 to 2008.

"It was actually good ... firm, straight," Hedges said. "It was a cool experience."

Hedges was asked if the 45-year-old Hoffman threw him any of his "Bugs Bunny" changeups, the pitch that served Hoffman so well during his 18-year Major League career.

"No, thank goodness," Hedges said, smiling. "Because that probably would have made me look stupid."

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