I mentioned this morning how it was strange what happened with Gunnar Hoglund. The Pirates drafted him with the 36th overall pick, thinking they had what they needed to get him to sign. Hoglund stated after the draft that he had reached an agreement with the Pirates. And then nothing came from that and he ended up going to Mississippi.
Jim Callis had the following in his recap of the unsigned draft picks on MLB.com:
With the Braves and Stewart and the Pirates and Hoglund, the two sides took differing views of post-Draft physicals.
The translation here is that the team probably did have an agreement with Hoglund, but that agreement probably fell apart due to the required physical. The team wouldn’t have any medical information on him until he was ready to sign, and if anything came up, that would void the deal and lead to a new deal needing to be worked out.
Callis said the same thing happened with the Braves and their eighth overall pick. After a “differing view” of the physical, the Braves only offered their first rounder 40% of the slot value, and he went to college.
The Pirates can’t talk about Hoglund’s physical, so unless he discusses the matter, the “differing views of the physical” information is probably all we will get. But that’s all we really need to have a basic understanding of what happened here: They took Hoglund expecting to sign him, he agreed to their price, and a red flag with the physical derailed that agreement, with further negotiations leading to Hoglund deciding on attending Mississippi.
That’s not a bad move for Hoglund if you assume he’s not getting the full-slot amount. His time at Mississippi is now about improving on whatever the Pirates were offering, and improving his value after the issue with the physical. That’s a lot different than the alternative theory, where he was getting slot value and trying to improve on about $2 M.
As for the Pirates, it’s unfortunate this didn’t work out, but they do get compensation next year with the 37th overall pick, and as i wrote this morning, that could help set them up for another high-upside draft like they had in 2017.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.