Rangers Youth Academy player Hogg talks DREAM Series

January 19th, 2023

TEMPE, Ariz. -- David Hogg II was in pure shock when he found out he was being invited to the 2023 DREAM Series.

The DREAM Series is an event hosted during the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day that is focused on highlighting and diversifying the talent pool of pitchers and catchers -- two positions that lack much Black representation at the Major League level.

Hogg, a shortstop in the 2024 MLB Draft class, was pumped to be in a group of position players who also attended the event. He was one of two players from the Rangers Youth Academy, alongside Kaleb Thompkins, to make the trip to Tempe Diablo Stadium, the Spring Training home of the Angels.

“I was really shocked, honestly, because it's something I've always wanted to do,” Hogg said of being invited to the event. “Since I was a little kid, I mean, seeing older guys like Hunter Greene come to this program, come to this specific event and see where they are now, that's something that every kid dreams of and wants to be a part of. So I’m just really, really blessed that I’m here.”

Hogg added that he couldn’t have been where he is today without the help of the Rangers Youth Academy and his coaches: “I can't be more thankful to coach Juan at the Youth Academy for making it accessible for me and other young kids as well. That's another extended part of my family, and I'm so thankful that they've helped me develop me as a player and just as a person.”

For Hogg, the DREAM Series was a time to hone in on his skills as he prepares for his junior season at Mansfield High School. While there were no real or simulated games played, in order to prevent overstimulating the young players ahead of the high-school season, Hogg made the most of the instruction he received from the current and former big leaguers coaching the event. 

This year’s coaches included Marquis Grissom, LaTroy Hawkins, Howie Kendrick and others, with special appearances from current big leaguers Greene (Reds), Justin Dunn (Reds) and Jo Adell (Angels). 

Hogg worked to soak up all the knowledge he could from every direction, so much that MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo noted Hogg as one of the top performers at the DREAM Series, saying Hogg “got high marks for how he went about his business and was a very steady player on both sides.”

“Everything's been great,” Hogg said. “Honestly, the authenticity of it, I feel like that's something that you're not going to get anywhere else. You can go anywhere in the world, but this group of coaches and the staff that they put together for us to really get to know them on and off the field and get to know how much work it takes to get to where you want to go, I think that's been something that has really stood out to me.”

With all the work he’s putting in on the field, the LSU commit was also dedicated to getting to know his peers throughout the five-day event. For many, this will be the last time so many Black players share a baseball field at the same time. 

Hogg cherishes the opportunity to learn from other players across the country and continue bettering himself on and off the field. 

“There have been events in the past [dedicated to diversity in baseball], but this is something that is with such a select group of talent at such a high level of coaching with talented players,” Hogg said. “Being able to build a relationship that leaves the field for the rest of our lives -- we're brothers and family. It's been great. It’s a cool experience trying to get to know everybody.

“Baseball hasn't always been like how it is right now, and this was a weekend for all of us out here getting better and developing. It’s just great, and it’s a blessing to be out here.”