Matt Hobgood: 'Sometimes people don't shoot through the ranks'

July 20, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Fans who haven't already given up on Matt Hobgood can check out the Orioles' 2009 first-round draft pick this summer in Aberdeen, where he is trying to salvage his 2011 season after being sidelined for most of it with a strained rotator cuff in his throwing arm. The 20-year-old right-hander made his first start for the Single-A IronBirds over the weekend, and he is scheduled to start Thursday night’s game at Brooklyn.

Hobgood allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits in four innings on Saturday, striking out three batters in a 4-3 loss to Vermont. But he told Towney Godfrey of the IronBirds radio network that his stuff “felt good.”

“[My velocity has increased] a little bit. Last night I was 88-91 [miles per hour], hit 93 a couple of times,” said Hobgood, the fifth overall pick in 2009. “So, that’s something they told me would maybe come back at the end of the year. I’m really just looking forward to me ending the year healthy and looking forward to 2012.”

Despite a rocky start to his Orioles career, Hobgood said that the organization has “been great” and acknowledged he has not progressed the way that he and the organization had hoped.

“Sometimes people don’t shoot through the ranks,” he said.

But Hobgood likes the pressure of being a first-round pick.

“I like pressure and pressure situations. I don’t really look at it as pressure. I always wanted myself to succeed at a high-level,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I’ve really done anything significant since I’ve been drafted, and I’m aware of that.

"But, like I said before, some things take time.”

And that’s why it’s too soon to write Hobgood off. Who knows if he will join the list of epic Orioles draft busts or if he will join the likes of Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz in the future Orioles rotation? He has disappointed so far, but we can’t say for sure that Hobgood won’t get his career back on track eventually.

Sure, we can make our best guesses, but we can't say for sure.

[Via MASN]

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