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New Article: "Matt Hobgood: Mid-Term Report" by Doc Shorebird


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With all the discussion swirling around the status of 2009 1st round draft pick Matt Hobgood, Orioles Hangout writer Doc Shorebird took some time to sit down for a chat with Hobgood and his pitching coach, Troy Mattes.

How's the 19 year old hurler feeling? Where is he with developing his changeup? And of course, how's his conditioning?

Get all this and plenty more by clicking here for the entire story. It's for Plus Members only, so if you'd like to read it and haven't yet subscribed, go here for all the details on how to sign up.

This, in my opinion, is one of Doc's finest pieces he's ever contributed to the Orioles Hangout. It answered a ton of questions I had and I'm sure the rest of our readers will agree. Great stuff Doc!!!

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With all the discussion swirling around the status of 2009 1st round draft pick Matt Hobgood, Orioles Hangout writer Doc Shorebird took some time to sit down for a chat with Hobgood and his pitching coach, Troy Mattes.

How's the 19 year old hurler feeling? Where is he with developing his changeup? And of course, how's his conditioning?

Get all this and plenty more by clicking here for the entire story. It's for Plus Members only, so if you'd like to read it and haven't yet subscribed, go here for all the details on how to sign up.

This, in my opinion, is one of Doc's finest pieces he's ever contributed to the Orioles Hangout. It answered a ton of questions I had and I'm sure the rest of our readers will agree. Great stuff Doc!!!

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Thanks Doc, very nice.

OK, so I get that the theme of the article is that he's young and it will take time. But this still really, really concerns me:

I’ve hit 98 in high school and in most games I could hit 96. My two-seam could consistently hit from 91 – 94, and I would hit 94-96 most games. Up until my arm tiredness, I was consistently hitting 87 – 90, and above that at times.

So before his arm was tired, he was consistently 87-90?

There's a lot riding on the *hope* that he can get his velocity back into the 90's. His K numbers are extremely underwhelming, and that's been combined with poor walk numbers. It would be one thing if he was a 5th round pick, and not the 5th overall pick.

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Thanks Doc, very nice.

OK, so I get that the theme of the article is that he's young and it will take time. But this still really, really concerns me:

So before his arm was tired, he was consistently 87-90?

There's a lot riding on the *hope* that he can get his velocity back into the 90's. His K numbers are extremely underwhelming, and that's been combined with poor walk numbers. It would be one thing if he was a 5th round pick, and not the 5th overall pick.

Regardless of what everyone is saying publicly it should be a concern. I don't doubt one thing that was said by Mattes, Doc or even Hobgood. He is still young and every pitcher is different, but for a 5th overall pick, no one can be happy with the lack of velocity and numbers.

His lack of missing bats is concerning for me. I know he's a sinking fastball guy, but his curve was supposed to be a hammer and in the Sally League, a "hammer" should be racking up the K's.

It was a great read and great job by Doc, and I appreciate everyone including Matt for doing the interviews. I'm sure Orioles fans will be pulling for him, but the critics will remain until he starts to perform at the level of a 5th overall pick in a draft.

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Regardless of what everyone is saying publicly it should be a concern. I don't doubt one thing that was said by Mattes, Doc or even Hobgood. He is still young and every pitcher is different, but for a 5th overall pick, no one can be happy with the lack of velocity and numbers.

His lack of missing bats is concerning for me. I know he's a sinking fastball guy, but his curve was supposed to be a hammer and in the Sally League, a "hammer" should be racking up the K's.

It was a great read and great job by Doc, and I appreciate everyone including Matt for doing the interviews. I'm sure Orioles fans will be pulling for him, but the critics will remain until he starts to perform at the level of a 5th overall pick in a draft.

Yeah, something isn't right. If his velocity has dropped off that badly, something is wrong and I don't know if you can attribute that to his conditioning. I don't understand why there isn't more concern on the O's part? Maybe there is and we just aren't hearing about it, but for a kid to lose almost 10 MPH on his FB, something just isn't right. It doesn't make sense for someone like Jarrett Martin who was probably a 3rd-4th round talent to be having better success at the similar levels with the K's(I know Martin is about a year older at a lower level, but a K is a K, MH should be racking up K's with his curve at the very least).

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Next year is going to be the big test. I think it's nice that he's holding his own on a full season team - that's a real positive. It would be nice to see him dominating, but we're not going to have an idea of what he might be until we see what sort of shape he shows up in next year, and what the results are.

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Next year is going to be the big test. I think it's nice that he's holding his own on a full season team - that's a real positive. It would be nice to see him dominating, but we're not going to have an idea of what he might be until we see what sort of shape he shows up in next year, and what the results are.

I agree....And I will say this, if his FB velocity returns, he can be special IMO. Considering that he is holding his own in Delmarva at his age with 5-7(on average) less MPH on his FB, imagine what he'd be doing at 100%. One thing to remember, if your arm speed is slower than before, then that won't only have effects on the FB velocity, but also the curveball's quality as well. The curveball is all about getting that spin on it and without the normal arm speed, you won't get the normal spin, thus not getting the normal bite and break.

Its sad because if Hobby's FB was still the same quality it had been, Joe Jordan would be probably looking like a genius right now because I firmly believe Hobgood would be pitching very well with the extra velocity he used to have.....

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If anything the low velocity and lack of sharpness on the curve may be contributing to his willingness to learn the changeup now (rather than waiting until he's forced to learn it on the fly by better hitters) and become a more complete pitcher.

Storm clouds, meet silver linings.

I'm concerned but nowhere near as concerned as a lot of you guys seem to be. It really is an enormous adjustment for a lot of players, especially pitchers. Some guys don't skip a beat but many do.

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Next year is going to be the big test. I think it's nice that he's holding his own on a full season team - that's a real positive. It would be nice to see him dominating, but we're not going to have an idea of what he might be until we see what sort of shape he shows up in next year, and what the results are.

I can't say I follow many high school graduate, 19 year old pitchers.

I know he's talking about other guys that have had rough velocity years, had good off season training and then bounced back. Are there any good examples of this? Or is this just something they say.

Does anyone know of similar comps of minor league guys to look at and feel a lot better when he says he'll bounce back strong next year?

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I'm concerned but nowhere near as concerned as a lot of you guys seem to be. It really is an enormous adjustment for a lot of players, especially pitchers. Some guys don't skip a beat but many do.

My concern comes from the fact that I do not think he was the best player available. Looking at the pre-draft projections, he's probably performing behind most of the players who were slotted ahead of him. Again, he was the 5th pick of the draft, so the stakes are high.

I can't evaluate the pick in a vacuum, but I realize you have to be patient too.

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Nice marketing... and smart. This is the type of story that on would not be able to get anywhere else on the Web.

What would happen, though, if the Sun and espn and MASN started their stories behind paywalls?

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