Jeff Hoffman

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Note: This page is for pitcher Jeff Hoffman who made his major league debut in 2016; for others with the same name, click here.

Jeffrey Robert Hoffman

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Jeff Hoffman was selected 9th overall in the 1st round of the 2014 amateur draft by the Toronto Blue Jays and scout Chris Kline. He was considered one of the top college pitchers in the draft before falling a few ranks because of concern over the health of his pitching elbow. Indeed, he had to undergo Tommy John surgery soon after signing with the Jays, delaying the start of his professional career by a year.

He finally took the mound for a professional team on May 20, 2015, when he started for the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League. He made 11 starts for Dunedin, logging 56 innings with a record of 3-3, 3.21 and on July 18th was promoted to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the AA Eastern League. He only got to make two starts there, with no record and a 1.54 ERA, then was included in a blockbuster trade on July 28th. That day, the Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies swapped shortstops, with Troy Tulowitzki heading to Toronto in exchange for Jose Reyes, while Jeff, Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco went to the Rockies, as veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins made the trip in the other direction.

After making his major league debut late in the 2016 season, going 0-4, 4.88, Jeff earned his first big league win on May 11, 2017 when he was called up from the minors to make an emergency start against the Los Angeles Dodgers in place of Tyler Anderson. He allowed 3 runs in 5 1/3 innings to receive credit for a 10-7 win. He had earlier been called up for a doubleheader on May 2nd, under the 26th man rule, and had pitched an inning and a third in relief. He made 23 appearances during that season, including 16 starts and was 6-5, 5.89 in 99 1/3 innings. The Rockies thought that he would soon settle into being a dependable major league starter, but it didn't happen. He was back in the minors for most of 2018, going 6-8, 4.94 in 21 starts for the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes. He also appeared in 6 games with the Rockies - only one of them as a starter and had no decisions but a 9.35 ERA. He then split his 2019 season almost evenly between the Rockies and AAA, going 6-8, 7.70 in 17 games for Albuquerque, and 2-6, 6.56 in 15 starts for Colorado. He was seemingly unable to take the next step forward, and in 2020, the Rockies decided to turn him into a reliever at the major league level, with no minor league baseball being played because of the Coronavirus pandemic. He made 16 appearances out of the bullpen, logging 21 1/3 innings, but gave up 23 runs on 32 hits and 9 walks, for a 9.28 ERA. In spite of all the action around the bases when he was on the mound, he actually posted a winning record, 2-1, and also picked up his first major league save.

On November 25, 2020, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in return for a pitcher with a very similar profile: Robert Stephenson, another first-round draftee who at times had seemed on the verge of establishing himself as a major league starter, but had failed and ended up in the bullpen. Both men were considered to still have good stuff and could turn around given a change of scenery. Two minor leaguers were also involved in the trade: OF Jameson Hannah who accompanied Stephenson to Colorado, and P Case Williams, a 4th-round selection in the 2020 amateur draft who had yet to make his professional debut. It was the first trade between major league teams involving major leaguers since the World Series had ended a month earlier.

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