The Blue Jays have signed their first-round pick from the 2021 draft.
Right-handed pitcher Gunnar Hoglund out of Ole Miss has inked a deal with a $3,247,500 signing bonus, which is $111,500 under the recommended slot value for the No. 19 overall pick.
Given the Blue Jays didn’t have a second-round pick in this year’s draft, it isn’t surprising to see that they drafted a guy with their first pick that would sign a deal at under slot value. Doing so in the first round gives Toronto more cash to spend on later draft picks, such as high school pitcher Irv Carter.
He had the talent to be a top-10 pick, but Hoglund suffered an elbow injury in May and has since had Tommy John surgery. He won’t be healthy until next spring at the earliest, but this doesn’t appear to be much of a concern given Hoglund is considered to be one of the most polished pitchers in the draft.
Hoglund posted a 2.87 ERA over 11 starts and 62 2/3 innings for Ole Miss in 2021, striking out 96 batters while walking 17. His repertoire includes a 92-to-95 MPH fastball, an 84-to-86 MPH slider, and a changeup that he didn’t often use while pitching in college.