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Jeff Hoffman

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Jeffrey Scott Hoffman

BR Minors

[edit] Biographical Information

Relief pitcher Jeff Hoffman was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 14th round of the 1988 amateur draft, a few slots after Victor Cole, and played in their system until his death in 1992.

He began his professional career in 1988 and went 0-0 with a 3.55 in six appearances for the Oneonta Yankees. The following year, he was 0-3 with a 5.19 ERA in 23 games for the Fort Lauderdale Yankees, allowing 58 hits in 50 1/3 innings. With the Greensboro Hornets in 1990, Hoffman was 8-3 with one save and a 1.47 ERA in 47 games (one start). He was the team's best reliever that year and posted one of the best ERAs in the South Atlantic League.

In 1991, he was 12-5 with three saves, a complete game, a shutout and a 2.87 ERA in 34 games (14 starts) for the Prince William Cannons. He tied for third in the Carolina League in wins, behind Ryan Hawblitzel and Curtis Leskanic, who both had 15. Among Yankee farmhands, he also tied for third in wins, behind Sam Militello and Ed Martel. With the Albany-Colonie Yankees in 1992, Hoffman was 6-9 with three saves and a 4.09 ERA in 35 games (14 starts). On August 29 of that year, Hoffman was found unconscious by a maid in his hotel room and was pronounced dead at the hospital a short while later. It was found that he had an inflamed heart, which led to an irregular heartbeat. He died from cardiac arrhythmia at the age of 24. His wife was three months pregnant at the time.

Overall, Hoffman was 26-20 with seven saves and a 3.12 ERA in 145 games (29 starts).

Sources include Greatest 21 Days blog

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