San Diego, CA- San Diego Padres Top Prospects outfielder Rymer Liriano and catcher Austin Hedges have been named starters for the Double-A Texas League All-Star Game.
Along with Liriano and Hedges, Padres pitching prospects Johnny Barbato, James Needy, Adys Portillo have also been named to the Texas League all-star team.
Liriano, 22, was projected to be the Padres opening day right fielder before missing all of last season due to elbow reconstruction surgery. Liriano after shaking off some rust to begin the season, has returned to his top prospect form as he is currently in second place in the Texas League with 11 homeruns and third in RBIs and extra-base hits. With his performance to begin the season and the Padres offensive struggles, Liriano could be close to fulfilling his potential and earning a promotion to San Diego.
Austin Hedges the top catching prospect in baseball has had a solid first half of the season for the Missions, batting .254 with five homers and 24 RBIs. Hedges has elite receiving skills and major league caliber defensive skills, but the only question with Hedges is will his bat develop to match his defensive skills. His offensive skills have continued to improve the past few seasons and his performance this season, is an excellent sign for Austin Hedges development. Hedges may be close to a promotion as well, but there isn’t a rush to get Hedges to the big leagues until he is completely ready.
James Needy is (4-3) on the season with a 2.70 ERA in 10 starts for the Missions. Johnny Barbato leads the Texas League with 16 saves and reliever Adys Portillo has a 1.17 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 30.2 innings.