Jays promoting top prospect Hoffman to double-A

The Toronto Blue Jays selected right-hander Jeff Hoffman ninth overall in the 2014 draft. (ECU Athletic Media Relations)

Jeff Hoffman’s impressive professional debut has earned him a promotion. The Toronto Blue Jays are sending the right-handed pitching prospect to double-A New Hampshire, an industry source told Sportsnet.

After excelling in recent starts for the Dunedin Blue Jays, he’s seemingly ready for the challenge of the upper minors, one that begins Friday when he’ll make his first double-A start.

Hoffman, the ninth overall pick of the 2014 draft, sat out most of last year after undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery May 14. The 22-year-old made his pro debut this May, posting a 3.21 ERA with 38 strikeouts and 15 walks in 11 starts for the Class A Dunedin Blue Jays. He finished the first half strong, pitching 6.2 innings Sunday, while allowing one run and striking out six.

The promotion comes at a time that the Blue Jays are actively seeking reinforcements for their big league pitching staff. Rival teams could inquire about the likes of Hoffman, Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd in trade talks with Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos.

Before the season, Hoffman said he’d rather help the Blue Jays with his arm than as a trade chip. “I’d love to help the guys get to the playoffs,” Hoffman told Sportsnet in March. “But that’s not under my control. I’m going to take this one day at a time and try to stay healthy for the full year.”

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