Earlier today in this space we published an article on O’s pitcher Matt Hobgood.
The 19-year-old right hander was taken with the 5th pick in round one of last June’s draft. He went 1-2, 4.73 in eight starts last summer at Bluefield. After the year he was named as the 4th best prospect in the Appalachian League by Baseball America.
Hobgood has joined other pitchers that have reported early to the O’s minor league camp in Sarasota, Florida. Here are some more comments from an interview this week with Hobgood.
How are the early workouts going?
“On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we throw bullpens, usually at about 85 percent or so just working on fastballs and changeups. Just trying to get the feel of throwing off a mound again.
“Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays we go the gym and workout with trainers. Sundays we are off. There is a lot of down time. I’ve been bowling already about nine times since I’ve been here.”
You mentioned last summer that your velocity, which reached the mid 90’s during your high school season, topped out at 92 during Bluefield’s season. Has all the velocity come back or will you know more later in the spring?
“Right now I feel pretty good, trying to ease back into things and get a feel throwing off the mound. I’m trying to condition my arm for a long season. They are not putting any (radar) guns on us at this point. I’ll probably know more in March when the games start and go from there.”
You put in a lot of work in the last few months on your changeup. Is that an improved pitch?
“I worked on my changeup a lot at instructional league. When I came back this year Dave Schmidt said my mechanics look a lot better, I’m sound and balanced with that pitch. I feel a lot more in control of myself and with my motion.”
Are the coaches trying to add any pitches for you or tinkering with your pitches or is it more just refining what you already have?
“They’re not trying to teach me to throw a knuckleball or anything like that. Right now I’m just throwing fastball, changeup. Just getting the feel back is all it is.”
Is your goal to start at Delmarva this year. Have you been told if you will head north with that club in April?
“That is my goal. I hope to start the year there. They have not said anything to anyone. I think they just want everyone to go into spring training and show what they’ve got.”
The Triple-A Norfolk Tides announced today that they will play the Norfolk State Spartans in an exhibition game on Tuesday, April 6 at 7:15 pm at Harbor Park.
Tickets for the event are $5.00, with all proceeds from the contest going towards the NSU baseball program.
This game supplants the annual exhibition game the Tides had played against the Old Dominion Monarchs. The Tides open their 2010 season on April 8 against Durham Bulls.
The Double-A Bowie Baysox will host live auditions at Prince George’s Stadium on Saturday, March 13, to sing the national anthem before a 2010 Baysox home game. Gates open for registration at 9:00 a.m. and auditions begin at 9:30 a.m. The team has a live performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before all 71 home games.
The auditions are held rain or shine. Last year, 103 people auditioned to sing the national anthem.