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Ole Miss RHP Gunnar Hoglund, Potential 2021 First-Round Pick, To Have Tommy John Surgery

Image credit: Ole Miss righthander Gunnar Hoglund (Photo courtesy of Mississippi State)

Mississippi righthander Gunnar Hoglund is set to have Tommy John surgery after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament, as first reported by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel and confirmed by Baseball America. 

Hoglund, the No. 9 prospect on the BA 400, left his most recent start with forearm stiffness in the first inning last Friday. He is the second top-10 player in the 2021 class to undergo the surgery, along with Louisiana State righthander Jaden Hill

Hoglund will have surgery next Tuesday. The operation will be performed by Dr. James Andrews.

Unlike Hill, Hoglund has a track record of performing in a starter’s role and generally has fewer questions about his ability to start at the next level thanks to some of the best overall command in the class. 

This spring, Hoglund was an early-season riser thanks to improved fastball velocity. He posted a 2.87 ERA through 11 starts and 62.2 innings, while striking out 96 batters and walking 17. 

Hoglund was a prominent draft prospect out of Fivey High in Hudson, Fla., as well, and was drafted by the Pirates in the supplemental first round with the 36th overall pick. The two sides didn’t come to an agreement, and Hoglund instead made it to campus at Ole Miss, where he only improved his draft stock.

At the time of his injury, Hoglund was seen as one of the best available college pitchers on the board after the Vanderbilt duo of Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker—right in the next tier with Texas righthander Ty Madden.

It’s unclear where Hoglund will get drafted now, though perhaps it’s safe to say he will likely fall outside of the top 10 picks. There are a number of pitchers who were selected in the first round soon after having Tommy John surgery. Jeff Hoffman, the ninth pick in the 2014 draft, was selected by the Blue Jays despite having Tommy John surgery that April. Erick Fedde went 18th overall in that same 2014 draft despite having Tommy John surgery in May of his draft year.

Since then, Walker Buehler was picked 24th overall in the 2015 draft by the Dodgers despite an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery soon after the draft. More recently, former Mississippi State RHP J.T. Ginn was selected by the Mets in the second round of the 2020 draft as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, but the signing bonus he received ($2.9 million) was that of a late first-round pick.

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