Ole Miss right-hander Gunnar Hoglund, one of the top prospect in this summer’s draft class, will require Tommy John surgery after exiting last night’s start during the first inning, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel reports (Twitter link). He’ll be sidelined for the next 12 to 18 months while he recovers.
It’s a tough blow for the 21-year-old Hoglund, who has been excellent thus far in his junior season. Through 62 2/3 innings spread across 11 starts, the 6’4″, 220-pound righty has pitched to a 2.87 ERA while striking out 38.9 percent of his opponents against a 6.8 percent walk rate. Hoglund notched a 1.16 ERA and a stellar 37-to-4 K/BB ratio in 23 1/3 innings in 2020 before the season was halted.
McDaniel’s most recent mock draft had Hoglund going eighth overall to the Rockies, while recent mocks from Baseball America and MLB.com had him going 10th to the Mets and 13th to the Phillies, respectively. BA ranked Hoglund as the No. 9 overall prospect in this year’s draft, while MLB.com had him tenth. It’s the second time Hoglund has entered the season as a high-profile draft prospect; the Pirates selected him with the No. 36 pick back in 2018, but he opted to honor his college commitment and did not sign. Pittsburgh received a comp pick the following year (used to select outfield prospect Sammy Siani).
The forthcoming Tommy John procedure doesn’t entirely dash Hoglund’s hopes of going in the first round. It’s fairly common for teams in the middle or back half of the first round roll the dice on injured potential top 10 talents whose stock has dipped a bit due to health concerns. McDaniel adds in reporting the unfortunate news on Hoglund that the injury will probably drop him to the 15 to 25 range on future attempts at forecasting the first round.
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Hoglund becomes the second high-profile college starter to require Tommy John surgery this spring, joining LSU righty Jaden Hill, who sustained a torn UCL in early April. Both could yet come off the board early in this summer’s draft, particularly if there’s a team interested in cutting a deal to save some money on its top pick and then spending a bit more aggressively elsewhere down the board.