2014 MLB Draft: No. 9 – Toronto Blue Jays – Jeff Hoffman
There is simply not enough coverage of the Cape Cod League, the premier summer baseball league located on the Cape Cod in Massachusetts, that sees thousands of scouts from all thirty major league teams attend every year. Each year, there is a story of a pitcher that seemingly has a make or break game or string of performances, catapulting them into the forefront of the first round in the draft.
Jeff Hoffman is that latest story.
Undrafted in 2011 out of a high-school in New York, the righty proceeded to attend East Carolina University, to try and establish some value at all. Scouts heeded Hoffman after he threw 95 mph consistently at the Cape in 2012, and 97 a year later.
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The 6'4 righty figured to be in the mix to be taken number one overall by the Houston Astros but Tommy John surgery forced him to miss time from April as a result.
The Toronto Blue Jays, under General Manager Alex Anthopoulos, have built a reputation of being one of the most aggressive teams in recent draft history. They selected Hoffman with the ninth overall pick, despite the recent surgery, due to his sheer upside. At 21 years of age, he was a late bloomer relative to some of the other first rounders, and is expected to arrive with the big league club by the 2017 season, if not sooner.
For the Blue Jays, Hoffman will be a welcome addition to a farm system that has been depleted since the blockbuster trades with the Miami Marlins and New York Mets a year and a half ago, which saw them trade away five of its top ten prospects. Failing to sign Phillip Bickford, their first round selection last year, the pipeline was looking worryingly thin.
With Hoffman however, Anthopoulos looks to have inserted a reliable college pitcher, who should prove easy to sign.