Temple's Hockenberry thrilled to be a Phillie

Temple's Matt Hockenberry tied his career high with five wins this season. He pitched 93 innings and his ERA was 3.18.
Temple's Matt Hockenberry tied his career high with five wins this season. He pitched 93 innings and his ERA was 3.18. (CHARLES FOX / Staff)
Posted: June 11, 2014

It was the last thing Matt Hockenberry expected.

After refreshing the browser on his phone for the umpteenth time while following the draft, Hockenberry, parked at his girlfriend's place in Glassboro, really didn't know how to react when his name came across his phone.

"At first I thought there was no chance in hell," the righthanded pitcher from Temple said. "I refreshed it and saw my name again and I went nuts."

In the ninth round with the 262d pick, the Phillies selected Hockenberry, making the 22-year-old's lifelong dream of being drafted a reality.

Hockenberry will board a plane Tuesday headed for the Phillies' training facility in Clearwater, Fla., for a minicamp. Shortly thereafter, the Phillies will give the native of Hanover, Pa., his minor-league assignment.

He is not sure where that will be. However, he has a pretty good understanding of how the system works.

"I'm sure they want me to progress quickly through the minor leagues because of my age," Hockenberry said. "I think I'm kind of at an advantage now because since I just finished playing college ball, I'm used to the schedule. The thing about it now is I don't have any tests and quizzes to worry about - it's just baseball."

The Phillies were the only team that had Hockenberry in for a workout.

"We had him in for workout and we liked what we saw," Phillies director of scouting Marti Wolever said. "He has a plus fastball and is somebody who had a really good season so we are excited to have him."

In what turned out to be the final season for Temple baseball - the program was discontinued late last year - Hockenberry had a stellar season. He pitched 93 innings and tied his career high with five wins. His ERA was 3.18 and he recorded 71 strikeouts.

Hockenberry said that knowing this would be the last season of organized baseball was difficult. In fact, last year, when there were whispers that the program might be cut, he said he tossed around the idea of transferring.

"I thought about it," he said. "But I'm glad that I stayed. Now I'm just looking forward to the future. I'm ready to get to work."


jmitchell@philly.com

@JmitchInquirer

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