SAN DIEGO -- Austin Hedges, considered the third-best catching prospect in the Minor Leagues according to MLB.com, is on his way to Double-A San Antonio.
The Padres will promote Hedges, 20, from Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore to the Texas League. The move was based not just on merit but because Missions catcher Robert Kral is currently injured.
Either way, this is a notable promotion for Hedges, who earlier this month played in the Futures Game at Citi Field in New York.
Hedges, who was drafted in the second round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Junipero Serra High in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., was hitting .267 with three home runs and 26 RBIs this season in 64 games for Lake Elsinore.
Hedges, the Padres' No. 2 prospect, missed all but two games during May with a bone bruise to his left hand after being hit by a pitch.
Randy Smith, the Padres' vice president of player development, international scouting, sees no reason why Hedges can't succeed at a higher level.
"It will be a challenge, but he'll be OK," Smith said.