I know we've briefly discussed the Orioles' first-round pick in this year's MLB draft on O's on Deck.
Since California high school pitcher Matt Hobgood is apparently close to signing with the team, it seems like a good time to hear your expectations for the young right-hander.
The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reports that Hobgood arrived in Baltimore on Wednesday, and he is expected to sign his contract and be introduced to the crowd at Camden Yards before Saturday's game against the Washington Nationals.
From today's edition of The Baltimore Sun:
Orioles first-round draft pick Matt Hobgood arrived in Baltimore late Wednesday night and started his physical Thursday. Barring anything unforeseen, Hobgood, a right-handed pitcher out of Norco High in suburban Los Angeles, will sign his contract and be introduced to the Camden Yards crowd during Saturday's game against the Nationals.
Hobgood, the fifth overall pick in the draft, will receive a signing bonus of just under $2.5 million. On Sunday, Hobgood will leave Baltimore and join one of the Orioles' affiliates, most likely Rookie-level Bluefield.
"We basically got this thing done," Orioles director of amateur scouting Joe Jordan said. "He's just got to get through the physical process, and we'll sign the contract, and get this thing going."It's definitely refreshing for the organization to take care of the first-round pick without heading down to the signing deadline, like the Orioles did in each of the past two seasons with Matt Wieters and Brian Matusz.
I also can't help but think that the timing of the introduction at Camden Yards -- while the Orioles are playing their "rival" from the other Beltway -- is a well-thought plan by the front office.
With that said, Hobgood will be able to take a slow path through the organization due to the abundance of quality starting pitchers at higher levels. He might not be in that ballpark again, honestly, for another five to six years or more.
What are your expectations for Hobgood's career?
Remember that he is a high school player, but he was also named the Player of the Year by USA Today and several analysts project him as a top-of-the-rotation starter in the future.
For some extra analysis, here is a link to Hobgood's high school statistics on MaxPreps.com.
Also, check out a photo gallery of Hobgood on The Baltimore Sun's Web site.
Here is some video from Baseball Beginnings of Hobgood's bullpen session at Camden Yards prior to the draft.
At first, I was skeptical about the pick, but I admit that I've slowly accepted the move by the front office. It makes sense because they have a surplus and can afford to be patient with Hobgood.
It will just take equal patience from the fans to see if the front office is rewarded for the selection.