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J.J. Hoover

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James Allen Hoover

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[edit] Biographical Information

J.J. Hoover was signed by the Atlanta Braves and scout Brian Bridges as a 10th round pick in the 2008 amateur draft. He only pitched 2 games for the Danville Braves that first year, then was 7-6, 3.35 in 25 games for the Rome Braves of the South Atlantic League in 2009. He moved up to the Carolina League's Myrtle Beach Pelicans in 2010 and had an excellent season. In 24 starts, he was 11-6, then was promoted to the AA Mississippi Braves to end the year, where he went 3-1. His combined record in 28 starts was thus 14-7, 3.29 with 152 strikeouts in 153 1/3 innings.

Hoover split his time between the starting rotation and the bullpen in 2011, which affected his numbers. He was back at Mississippi to start the year, then was promoted to the AAA Gwinnett Braves after 31 games. He pitched 43 games between the two teams, making 14 starts, with a record of 3-6, 2.64 and a pair of saves. His strikeout rate continued to improve, to 117 in 105 2/3 innings, while he gave up only 77 hits and 40 walks. Baseball America placed him at #13 on the list of top Braves prospects after the season.

On April 1, 2012, he was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds in return for 3B Juan Francisco, who was out of options and had failed to win a spot of the Reds' roster. He joined a team that had just lost closer Ryan Madson for the season, opening up a spot in the bullpen, although Hoover was assigned to the AAA Louisville Bats to start the year. After recording 4 saves in 8 outings for Louisville, he was brought up to the majors in late April when Bill Bray went on the disabled list and made his debut on April 25th against the San Francisco Giants, hurling a scoreless inning of relief.

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