Get To Know: 2018 OF Matt Hogan (Half Hallows Hills East)

As we continue to shape-the-state here in New York, several different unique features will be available on our website. Player Spotlights, Progress Reports, Commitment Blogs, Scouting Blogs, Rankings and Top-Performer Lists, and so much more. Without the players we have nothing, so let’s take this a bit more personal - Get To Know: Our new article feature that hones in on what our Empire State players are up to, what makes them tick, and some real-candid inside access...

Name: Matt Hogan
High School:
Half Hallows Hills East
Grad Year:
State Rank:
No. 4
National Rank:
No. 122

PBR: Let's start with your baseball commitment to Vanderbilt. Tell us about the process and how you decided on the Commodores? How excited are you to play in the SEC?

Hogan: My commitment to Vanderbilt involved a lot of thought, as well a lot of input from my family and coaches. The process started toward the end my freshman year of high school. I spoke to my parents and asked them if there was any chance I could go to the Vanderbilt baseball camp.  I had heard that their camp was incredible.  I was really interested in the school and wanted to see the campus, learn more about the baseball program and see for myself what led them to have back to back College World Series appearances in 2014 and 2015. The camp was as expected, awesome, every waking moment was consumed with baseball and learning the game.  The camp was run like a well-oiled machine, I was part of a team and we rotated from field to field activity to activity learning a lot as we went.  I was especially impressed in the way Coach Corbin led the camp and how he treated everyone there. Coach Corbin emphasizes treating people with respect, doing the right thing and he also walks that talk.  It seemed that by the end of the camp he had learned everyone's name and developed a personal relationship with most of the attending players. By the end of the camp I was truly inspired by Coach Corbin and the way he carried himself, as well as held his players to certain standards and expectation. I later met Coach Brown who also gave me really great insight in regards to pitching as well as the mental aspect of the game. Coach Brown as well was extremely nice and held high expectations for his players, something I really liked in a coach. As far as playing in the SEC goes I'm very excited to say the least. Playing in one of the toughest conferences in the country is both an honor and challenge. I've always wanted to play in the SEC especially considering the great wealth of the nation's top talent playing in that conference.

PBR: Baseball has an unbelievable way of positively shaping young man on and off the field. Tell us one life-lesson you have picked up over the years playing the game, and how that life-lesson may impact you later in life?

Hogan: Baseball to me is the greatest game on Earth. It has many lessons to teach that are both humbling and exhilarating.   Baseball is a game of failure and teaches you composure and to be humble.  It also teaches you that hard work, resilience and perseverance will pay off in the long run.  At the same time you have to go in with a positive attitude and make sure you are asking yourself “why not” verses “Why”.  If you are up with 2 outs and with men on base and need a hit. I try to ask myself “why not me, why not be the guy to get the hit with men in scoring position”.   Sometimes you will fail, but if you go in with a negative attitude or asking the wrong question of yourself you can guarantee failure.   These are lessons you can employ in the rest of your life, being humble, working hard, being resilient and persevering are all things that can help in any area of your life.

PBR: If you were a baseball scout and just watched yourself play, what would that scouting report look like?

Hogan: I think the report would include a lot of things I need to work on. Whether it be swing fundamentals or routes to fly balls in the outfield, no one is perfect in this game and there's always ways that you can better yourself. Until you can strike out every batter as well as hit a home-run in every at bat there's always more work to do. I believe that I have a lot more work to do and I'm sure a scout would agree. 

PBR: This one is for our strictly baseball-minded readers. Tell us about your strengths and weaknesses on the field. 

Hogan: Well my best strength would be my mental aspect of the game. This is a game of failure, and I understand that, so I refrain from throwing my helmet, gloves or bat in frustration as well as am able to move on quickly after a mistake. It's acceptable to mess up because everyone does, but it's important to not make the same mistake twice. My weakness would be my understanding of the strike zone at the plate. I sometimes make the strike zone a little too wide in my head and end up swing at pitches that would be balls. 

PBR: You can only pick one, but who is your biggest baseball influence and why?

Hogan: Honestly over my lifetime there has been so many coaches and players both professional and my peers, who have played a significant role in influencing me on the field. But, my father has had the most significant role in my baseball infatuation. My Dad ever since I could walk instilled the love and passion for the game of baseball in me. He taught me how to throw and hit and to this day continues to help me in all aspects of the game coming up with new things to try. He and my Mom have always supported me in all areas of life both on the field and off and have been extremely important in influencing me.

PBR: We are knee-deep into the off-season schedule. Tell us about your training, and spring preparation. 

Hogan: Well my off season involves absolutely no throwing at all. I shut it down for two months every year to rest my arm and then start back up again in January to start preparing for the season.    I spend a lot of time at Infinity Sports, Prospect sports and Long Island baseball academy, working out and hitting. In the off season I train by lifting weights, running and some hitting.  My spring preparation involves a lot of running as well as hitting on an everyday basis. During these months in my training I work on trying out some new simple adjustments to my swing to hit the ball further and make better contact.  In addition, I will work on pitching mechanics and long toss to get my arm back in shape.

PBR: Anyone that plays the game with true passion hopes to leave their own legacy. Tell us how you want to be remembered for playing the game?

Hogan: If I’m lucky enough to leave behind a legacy I’d hope people would see me as someone who loved to play the game hard, as a fierce competitor, and that I was a person of good character, but mostly as someone who had a lot of fun playing the game.

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