While Roberto Perez is widely considered the best defensive catcher in baseball, having won back-to-back Gold Gloves, Austin Hedges isn’t a far cry from Perez’s ability. With Perez now being moved to the 60-day IL, the addition of Hedges is even more important now than when the deal was made.
Hedges isn’t going to knock your socks off at the plate. He’s a career sub-.200 hitter, but getting offensive production from any catcher is really just a plus. Hedges’ ability to be a solid defensive catcher and get pitchers through a game is what is more vital to the position, and he does that very well.
Having Perez and Hedges as the team’s two catchers when both are healthy give Cleveland the best defensive duo of catchers in the league. Even without Perez, the defensive aspect of the catcher position hasn’t missed a beat for the Tribe.
While his offensive hurts, his perfect fielding percentage is a nice trade-off behind the plate. The backup catcher is probably one of the more forgettable roster spots in the league and even more so in trades. But Hedges has more than shown his worth this year, making this trade all the better for the Cleveland Indians.