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Hedges growing more comfortable in Padres' camp

Hedges growing more comfortable in Padres' camp

PEORIA, Ariz. -- There was a moment a year ago when Padres catching prospect Austin Hedges stepped into the batter's box for batting practice only to find a future Hall of Famer 60 or so feet away, getting ready to toss him BP.

Trevor Hoffman, meet Austin Hedges. Consider it Padres' past meeting Padres' future.

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"I definitely did a little double-take," Hedges said at the time.

Hedges hasn't been nearly as awestruck during his second big league camp, mostly because he's now caught most of the pitchers in camp two years running.

"Last year was a really good experience for me," Hedges said. "And having done it one year and getting to know a lot of the guys here, it's helped me develop relationships with guys. I think the nerves have calmed down. I'm more excited than anything."

Hedges, the Padres' No. 2 prospect according to MLB.com, is one of six catchers in big league camp. He appeared in four Cactus League games a year ago and had three at-bats. He'll likely get more this time around.

Hedges is expected to start the regular season where he ended it in 2013 -- with Double-A San Antonio, though he could move quickly.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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