The deal was reported as being worth just under $3.25 million, which is about $111,000 under the slot value for the 19th overall pick, which was where Hoglund was selected.
Hoglund had a successful 2021 college season that saw him post a 13.8 strikeout per nine inning rate while posting a minuscule 0.91 WHIP and 2.87 ERA over 62.2 innings pitched. Many analysts had Hoglund being selected in the top ten in the MLB Draft, however, the 21-year old 6’4” right-handed pitcher underwent Tommy John surgery in May that will keep him out of action for another 12-14 months. The expected delay to the start of his professional career saw him drop to the Blue Jays.
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Baseball America had rated Hoglund’s control as his strongest asset, giving it a grade of 70 (out of 80). His pitching repertoire includes a fastball, slider, and change-up.
This is the second draft in a row that the Blue Jays have been able to snag a player that dropped from where early predictions had landed the prospect. During the 2020 MLB Draft, many thought Austin Martin would go top three, if not second overall, but dropped to the Blue Jays at the five slot. Martin has had a successful first professional season as he has posted a slash line of .274/.402/.378 with Double-A New Hampshire and played in the Futures Game this past weekend.
The Blue Jays have not been scared off with pitchers coming off of Tommy John surgery in the past, as they had selected a top college prospect coming off the same procedure previously. Back in 2014, many thought Jeff Hoffman was going to be a top-five pick but after going under the knife, he dropped to ninth in the draft. Hoffman would eventually be traded in the Troy Tulowitzki transaction and has found a home in Cincinnati this season.
The money saved in the Hoglund deal will likely be used to sway sign other draft picks selected this year like Irving Carter. The 18-year old has a verbal commitment to attend Miami University but has noted his intention to sign with the Blue Jays after being drafted. Carter was a fifth-round selection this past week.
Do you think the selection is worth the risk?