At this rate, the A’s are going to go from one of the worst farm systems to one of the best in the span of a week. This time, it’s Gold Glove third baseman Matt Chapman on his way out and a foursome of prospects coming to Oakland from Toronto.
The headliner for the A’s is Gunnar Hoglund, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-handed pitcher yet to throw his first professional pitch. That’s because he injured his elbow in his final season at Ole Miss in 2021, undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing the rest of the year.
Hoglund ranked No. 151 on our RotoProspects Top 500 Rankings before the trade, but rises to No. 147 due to the move to Oakland’s pitcher-friendly stadium. He goes from the Blue Jays’ No. 4 prospect to No. 2 on the A’s list, tops among pitchers.
Including the four starts he made in 2020 before the pandemic and his 11 starts in 2021 before TJ, he posted a 2.41 ERA with a 0.92 WHIP and 133-21 K-BB in his last 86 college innings.
The Blue Jays took Hoglund with the 19th pick and signed him for $3,247,500 despite the injury.
Hoglund’s strength is his ability to locate all three of his pitches to both sides of the plate, led by a fastball that sat 91-94 and touched 96 in his junior season. His slider and changeup are above-averages pitches as well.
Still rehabbing from TJ, Hoglund likely won’t debut in the A’s farm system until about midseason. Once there, he should be a fast mover who should be in play for a spot in the Oakland rotation in the spring of 2024.
With 70-grade control to go with big strikeout ability and a forgiving ballpark, Hoglund has fantasy ace potential and should rise into the top 100 overall once he can prove healthy from his surgery.