Jeff Hoffman: Colorado Rockies’ Future Ace?


Jeff Hoffman, traded to the Colorado Rockies in the Troy Tulowitzki blockbuster, looks to be the ace of the future.

The Toronto Blue Jays selected Jeff Hoffman in the first round (ninth overall) in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft out of East Carolina University. In 2013, many teams regarded Hoffman as one of the top picks in the 2014 draft; however, he succumbed to Tommy John (UCL) surgery in May of 2014, seeing him fall in the draft. Hoffman did not fall far though, as the Blue Jays had enough confidence in the hard throwing righty by taking him in the first round.

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Standing a 6’4”, Jeff Hoffman is an incredible athlete that features plus offerings. Hoffman’s fastball sits in the mid-90s, with the ability to reach the high-90s rather easily. Also, his curveball looks to be his second-best offering; moreover, at times, Hoffman’s curveball can be as good as his fastball. Jeff Hoffman’s change-up is his third above average offering, and with three plus offerings, Hoffman possesses the ability to mix his pitches and keep hitters off balance.

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However, Jeff Hoffman only has one professional season under his belt, so he must learn how to approach hitters and effectively mix his pitches. By playing college baseball, Hoffman figures to quickly ascend through the Colorado Rockies’ farm system. Hoffman demonstrates a nice feel for the strike zone, able to flash solid command, so the Rockies hope he continues to improve his command to become an impact arm for the team down the road.

Despite not pitching in 2014, Jeff Hoffman started the 2015 season off strong in the Toronto Blue Jays’ farm system. Once healthy from Tommy John surgery, the Blue Jays assigned him to High-A Dunedin. Hoffman shook of the cobwebs after rehabbing his elbow. He started 11 games at his first professional stop, averaging just over five innings per appearance. Jeff Hoffman posted a 3-3 record, 3.21 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and 3.70 FIP. Also, Hoffman managed to register a 16.7 percent strikeout rate at his first stop.

After pitching in 11 games for High-A Dunedin, the Toronto Blue Jays decided to promote the highly-touted pitcher to Double-A. Jeff Hoffman started just two games for Double-A New Hampshire before being dealt to the Colorado Rockies in the Troy Tulowitzki deal. In a small sample size at New Hampshire, Hoffman put together two solid outings, posting a 1.54 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 2.41 FIP. Moreover, he walked just 4.4 percent of the batters he faced and increased his strike out rate to 17.8 percent.

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When the Colorado Rockies acquired Jeff Hoffman, they assigned him to Double-A New Britain to continue his development. Hoffman started seven games for New Britain, but he regressed slightly, likely due to the increase in talent. In seven starts at Double-A, Hoffman registered a 3.22 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 3.74 FIP. Additionally, Hoffman posted a career-high strikeout rate of 20.3 percent, over seven batters per nine innings. Despite a career-high strikeout rate, Hoffman registered a career-high walk rate also, sitting at 7.7 percent.

In Jeff Hoffman’s first professional season, he pitched over 100 innings, and his ERA sat at a very respectable 3.03. One of Hoffman’s most impressive stats in his first season is his home run rate. Hoffman’s home run rate (HR/9) never went over 0.75, showing his ability to keep the ball in the ballpark; thus, this bodes well for him playing in hitter-friendly Coors Field. Hoffman looks to be a front-line starting pitcher in the making for the Colorado Rockies, and fans have something to look forward to in his development.

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Jeff Hoffman is not expected to make his Colorado Rockies debut until 2017; however, if he continues his strong development next season, he may push himself into MLB promotion talks in the latter part of 2016. Rockies’ fans are in the midst of another rebuilding season, but Hoffman presents a bright spot in a rather gloomy situation in Colorado. Keep an eye on Hoffman’s development next season, as he and Jon Gray look to headline the Rockies’ pitching staff of the future.