Raymond Hofer

From BR Bullpen

Raymond Hofer

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 205 lb.

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Raymond Hofer played in the US minors then won three home run titles in his native Netherlands. His father Louis Hofer was a long-time coach in the Netherlands while his brother Mike Hofer played in the Netherlands.

Hofer debuted in 1990 with the Amsterdam Pirates, going 5 for 26 with two doubles. He won the Ron Fraser Award that year. In 1991, he hit .298 in 23 games between HCAW and the Amstel Tijgers. He spent part of 1992 in the US, where he had his last year of high school, and also played for the Pirates (.261, .290 SLG). In the postseason, he was 8 for 21 with two doubles and a homer (he had not yet hit a regular-season homer in the Hoofdklasse).

Hofer played in the Atlanta Braves chain in 1993-1994. He was the 10th player born and raised in the Netherlands (excluding the Dutch Antilles and Aruba) to appear in Organized Baseball, following Win Remmerswaal, Martin Ronnenbergh, Clive Mendes, Tonny Cohen, Robert Eenhoorn, Caspar van Rijnbach, Rikkert Faneyte, Mike Crouwel and Frans Groot (3 of those 9 would appear in the majors).

He hit .240/.267/.271 for the 1993 GCL Braves, fielding .844 at his main spot, third base (backing up Rob Sasser there). In 1994, he batted .280/.306/.360 for the Idaho Falls Braves, playing all four infield slots. He had a better average than two of the three major league position players to come out of the team (Sasser and Pascual Matos; Roosevelt Brown was the third).

Hofer hit .358 and slugged .496 for the 1995 Hoofddorp Pioniers back in the Hoofdklasse. He was 2 for 16 with two doubles in the playoffs. In '96, he batted .394 and slugged .598 with 38 RBI in 30 games. He was 4 for 18 with 3 doubles and a homer in the postseason. He moved to Kinheim in 1997 and batted .328 with a .626 slugging percentage. He had 13 home runs, 44 runs and 48 RBI in 42 games. He led the league in dingers.

With former pros being allowed in international competition, he joined the Dutch national team. In the 1997 World Port Tournament, he was 4 for 18 with a walk, triple, homer, 3 runs and 4 RBI in 7 games. During the 1997 European Championship, he hit .458 with 9 runs and 12 RBI as the Netherlands won a Silver Medal. He led the event in RBI and tied for 6th in runs (even with Toine Jager, Jeffrey Cranston and Tomáš Ovesný.

In 1998, he hit .398 and slugged .691 with 13 homers, 44 runs and 55 RBI in 45 games. He was 4 for 13 with two doubles in the postseason. He was 5 for 19 with a double, walk, 2 runs, 2 RBI and 3 errors in the 1998 Haarlem Baseball Week. He hit .308/.378/.359 in the 1998 Baseball World Cup, with 6 runs in 10 games; he fielded .919 as the starting shortstop for the Netherlands. The next year, former major leaguer Robert Eenhoorn would replace him as the Dutch shortstop.

Hofer hit .409 and slugged .758 for Kinheim in 1999, with 51 runs and 67 RBI in 45 games. He led the Hoofdklasse in RBI and tied Eenhoorn and Elston Hansen for the homer lead. He tied Cranston for third with 76 hits (four shy of the co-leaders). Through 1999, he had hit .358 and slugged .585 in 248 Hoofdklasse games, with 247 RBI, 216 runs and 49 home runs. He hit .294/.286/.382 in the 1999 World Port Tournament, forming a double play tandem with Eenhoorn. During the 1999 European Championship, the Zaandam native was 4 for 13 with a walk for the Gold Medal winners. He split second base with Evert-Jan 't Hoen, who had more success in the US minors than Hofer. In the 1999 Intercontinental Cup, he was only 4 for 25 with a double and 3 errors, playing mostly left field while getting into one game as Eenhoorn's backup at short.

In 2000, he continued to play well for Kinheim, finishing among the league leaders in runs (31, tied for 9th with Crouwel), hits (50, tied for 8th with Cranston and Faneyte), doubles (11, tied for 5th with Mendes), homers (4, tied for 5th with Faneyte and Adonis Kemp), RBI (29, tied for 5th with Percy Isenia and Marcel Joost) and slugging (.469, 7th). He hit six homers in 2001 to tie Joost for the lead (league power levels were way down as they had switched to wooden bats). He also coached for Kinheim that year.