GWS have essentially turned small forward Zac Langdon into large forward Jesse Hogan by swapping the draft pick they got back to Fremantle.
Hogan represents a potential direct replacement for presumably departing matched free agent Jeremy Cameron; a big forward whose mobility can be used with the right game plan to exploit slower big defenders.
Both Cameron and Hogan had difficult years, but for Hogan the struggles have been longer-lasting. The projections reflect that Hogan did not repeat his 2018 season, when he kicked 47 goals, in his time at Fremantle.
Regardless, the ceiling is there, and the range for potential valuation of Hogan varies strongly based on whether one looks at the recent past or what he’s done before that.
The HPN Salary Prediction Tool shows the upper bound of his range, since a trip back to 2018 form would see him with plenty of value:
Hogan can be a really good player, if he can perform to his best. It remains to be seen if the Giants and Hogan are a partnership able to achieve that potential.
Complicating matters is Hogan’s fit with GWS’s existing list. Even with Cameron’s departure, the Giants’ KPF stocks were relatively decent – with Himmelberg, Finlayson and Riccardi all under contract for next year. The Giants tried and largely failed to play all four of their KPFs next year, and the fit of Hogan in this mix is a little unclear. Perhaps Finlayson is used in a swing role, or Leon Cameron plays a super flexible mix of talls across key forward and defensive positions.
There’s even the potential that they try to use all four at once, as a poor man’s version of Adelaide’s 2017 set up. Whatever the solution, it isn’t clear right now. With a one year deal (and a trigger for a second year), Hogan doesn’t represent a long term commitment to an untested strategy.
The trade seems like a good faith transfer of a player who is still worth an AFL list spot and another chance, but one who Fremantle do not want to keep investing in. The pick is a speculative one, but one which still can yield value.
Which is also a good description of Hogan’s outlook.
Verdict: Balanced trade, with the provisos about the Hogan’s talent and uncertainties.
Note: This post is part of a series of posts using a valuation method called Player Approximate Value (PAV) to evaluate trades for fairness and balance. Readers can explore these values with tools such as 5-year player value projection charts and a Salary Prediction tool as well as the HPN Trade Calculator to evaluate potential trades.
Elsewhere, read much more about the method and theory behind PAV. Expressing the value of players and picks in terms of expected future PAV provides a common currency for comparing them in trades and other movements. Players are projected using PAPLEY, a method to derive expected future PAVs.