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Re-hashing: Matzek vs. Hobgood


Stotle

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Apologies, but this is going to be a comparison I"ll be dragging out (along with Zack Wheeler) until the three of them sort out as to their ML future.

In Callis's chat at ESPN today (link):

Chris (Denver)

Did Matzek land in the top half of your top 50?

Jim Callis (2:36 PM)

He did, at No. 22.

I've stated I liked Wheeler for the potential cost/value combination, but Matzek was the #2 guy on my personal board and would have been my easy selection for Best Player Available. Tough to look at BAL missing out on potentially having another Top 25 pitching prospect to inject to the team in 3 years or so.

Oh well -- again, just an update for those who are curious as to how Matzek/Hobgood/Wheeler progress. Matzek seems to be comfortably ahead at this point (though I'll go out on a limb and say Wheeler is also in the Top 100 in the 51-75 range).

Also, this is just Callis's list, not Baseball America's official list.

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Sorry, one more from the Callis chat:

Blake (Baltimore)

Why did the Orioles choose Hobgood over Matzek, Wheeler, Turner ?

Jim Callis (2:53 PM)

Same answer as I gave for Minor and the Braves.

Answer to the Minor/Braves question = "He was the top player on their board who would sign for what their ownership was willing to spend, plain and simple."

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It will be interesting to watch this, I agree. However, I take Jordan at his word that he preferred Hobgood and cost wasn't the motivating factor. I guess it will be about 2-3 years before we really know if he made the right call there.

There was something about Matzek's attitude, reflected through things he said in the media right before and after the draft, that really rubbed me the wrong way. But, I don't want to put too much weight on some random quote from an 18-year old kid.

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It will be interesting to watch this, I agree. However, I take Jordan at his word that he preferred Hobgood and cost wasn't the motivating factor. I guess it will be about 2-3 years before we really know if he made the right call there.

There was something about Matzek's attitude, reflected through things he said in the media right before and after the draft, that really rubbed me the wrong way. But, I don't want to put too much weight on some random quote from an 18-year old kid.

I have no reason not to believe what Jordan said in his interviews. I just think it's interesting that the editor for perhaps the top media outlet to cover the draft seems so certain it was centered on money. I sometimes disagree with the processed result of what BA puts out with their rankings, but one thing I'm comfortable with is that they are well plugged into the industry.

Now, perhaps they simply were not plugged into the BAL draft room, but I think it's interesting enough to bring up -- Callis and Co. tend to be pretty careful about checking-up on what they put out there.

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What's the point of having this discussion again now? Callis' ranking adds no new information, as we already knew that most people are higher on Matzek. I don't understand what there is to be said that hasn't already been said many times over.

If you don't believe the first round of prospect rankings for this past year's draft class is interesting or relevant, please feel free to shop elsewhere. I think it's interesting, and I believe at least a few others agree. What makes this less legit to talk about than one of the four Holliday threads or where Delgado had dinner?

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If you don't believe the first round of prospect rankings for this past year's draft class is interesting or relevant, please feel free to shop elsewhere. I think it's interesting, and I believe at least a few others agree. What makes this less legit to talk about than one of the four Holliday threads or where Delgado had dinner?

I think it's interesting, I simply don't see how it changes anything in the Hobgood v Matzek debate. I'm genuinely curious as to why you think it does.

And I don't post in those threads either.

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I think it's interesting, I simply don't see how it changes anything in the Hobgood v Matzek debate. I'm genuinely curious as to why you think it does.

And I don't post in those threads either.

I think it gives more merit to the idea that 1) Matzek was the most advanced arm in the HS class, and 2) Matzek could indeed be as little as three years away. Will this thread change someone's mind about Matzek vs. Hobgood? Probably not. But not every discussion has to be full of meaning.

This is pretty high for a HS arm to rank on Top 50 list -- last year's BA Top 100 had, I believe, just one HS-esque arm -- Michael Inoa (ranked 54), international teen prospect.

I think the argument could be made that if BA ranks Matzek that high before logging significant MiL-innings, BAL passed on a potential game-changing prospect (not quite Wieters/Price, but certainly in the discussion with other elite HS arms like Beckett or Porcello). And, again, this isn't a pat on my back -- I stated I would have been a little nervous because of the supposed price tag (though he signed for much, much less than expected).

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This is pretty high for a HS arm to rank on Top 50 list -- last year's BA Top 100 had, I believe, just one HS-esque arm -- Michael Inoa (ranked 54), international teen prospect.

Funny that you should mention that. I was trying to remember this afternoon how many HS pitchers in the past 10 years have ranked as high as #25, so I scanned through the BA archives.

The best I can come up with:

Rick Porcello #21/2008

Clayton Kershaw #24/2007

Felix Hernandez was just coming off his 18-YO season when he made the list at #2 in 2005, but he already had two years in pro ball. He was also #30 in 2004 and coming off his age 17 season.

Pretty select company, though it's possible I missed someone.

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Funny that you should mention that. I was trying to remember this afternoon how many HS pitchers in the past 10 years have ranked as high as #25, so I scanned through the BA archives.

The best I can come up with:

Rick Porcello #21/2008

Clayton Kershaw #24/2007

Felix Hernandez was just coming off his 18-YO season when he made the list at #2 in 2005, but he already had two years in pro ball. He was also #30 in 2004 and coming off his age 17 season.

Pretty select company, though it's possible I missed someone.

Yeah. Kudos to COL for sticking to their guns during negotiations. I think many, myself included, underestimated how much Matzek wanted to get his pro career started. Purke was accurately identified as a tough sign (TCU commit was a big deal for him). Seems like a lot of teams thought Matzek was willing to walk away -- turns out that wasn't necessarily the case.

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I don't think BA is doing anything more than any of us did at the time. When you look at where Hobgood was ranked compared to the other top pitchers and the fact that he signed for a very reasonable bonus it looked to everyone that he was drafted at least in part because of his signability. It looked that way to me and it obviously looked that way to Baseball America. I don't think there is any smoking gun where Baseball America got Jordan or AM to admit off the record that it was a signability thing. They are just putting two and two together and coming up with four. Jordan & AM want us to believe it's not what it looks like. No problem, but it still looks like what it looks like. Hobgood was barely touching 90 in rookie ball. He was reportedly throwing 90-91 in the instructional league. Let's fact it, unless this guy starts pumping fastballs in there at 93-94, he's going to look suspect. I give Jordan the benefit of the doubt but I am concerned already over the pick based on the reports so far.

Like I said, I take Jordan at his word that Hobgood was the guy he wanted, and that his cheap asking price wasn't the reason he got picked that high. However, like you, I'm concerned that Jordan is pretty far out on a limb here. I think we'll all be watching Hobgood extremely closely next year and if he doesn't impress there is going to be even more second-guessing about this pick than there is already.

That said, I'm more concerned with whether Hobgood will develop into a good major league pitcher than I am with whether he'll prove to be better than Matzek. If Hobgood turns out to be, say, Gil Meche, I won't lose any sleep over the fact that Matzek or some other guy turned out better. If Hobgood turns out to be a guy who can't hold down a spot in a major league rotation, that's another story.

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