This Probably Explains Why Gunnar Hoglund Didn’t Sign

I mentioned this morning how it was strange what happened with Gunnar Hoglund. The Pirates drafted him with the 36th overall pick, thinking they had what they needed to get him to sign. Hoglund stated after the draft that he had reached an agreement with the Pirates. And then nothing came from that and he ended up going to Mississippi.

Jim Callis had the following in his recap of the unsigned draft picks on

With the Braves and Stewart and the Pirates and Hoglund, the two sides took differing views of post-Draft physicals.

The translation here is that the team probably did have an agreement with Hoglund, but that agreement probably fell apart due to the required physical. The team wouldn’t have any medical information on him until he was ready to sign, and if anything came up, that would void the deal and lead to a new deal needing to be worked out.

Callis said the same thing happened with the Braves and their eighth overall pick. After a “differing view” of the physical, the Braves only offered their first rounder 40% of the slot value, and he went to college.

The Pirates can’t talk about Hoglund’s physical, so unless he discusses the matter, the “differing views of the physical” information is probably all we will get. But that’s all we really need to have a basic understanding of what happened here: They took Hoglund expecting to sign him, he agreed to their price, and a red flag with the physical derailed that agreement, with further negotiations leading to Hoglund deciding on attending Mississippi.

That’s not a bad move for Hoglund if you assume he’s not getting the full-slot amount. His time at Mississippi is now about improving on whatever the Pirates were offering, and improving his value after the issue with the physical. That’s a lot different than the alternative theory, where he was getting slot value and trying to improve on about $2 M.

As for the Pirates, it’s unfortunate this didn’t work out, but they do get compensation next year with the 37th overall pick, and as i wrote this morning, that could help set them up for another high-upside draft like they had in 2017.

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Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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