Padres promote top prospect Austin Hedges to Double-A

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Corey Brock of MLB.com shares this bit of prospect news:

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.

Hedges played in the 2013 Futures Game earlier this month at New York’s Citi Field. He was batting just .263/.338/.404 with three home runs and 26 RBI over 65 games with High-A Lake Elsinore, but the 20-year-old is an excellent defender and should continue to rise quickly through the Padres’ system even if the bat takes a little while to catch up.

Hedges was a second-round pick in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft out of a California high school.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.