Less than one year after undergoing elbow surgery, top Toronto Blue Jays prospect Jeff Hoffman is throwing off of a mound again.
Hoffman was a candidate to be selected first overall in the 2014 draft, but his stock dropped when he underwent Tommy John surgery, and the Blue Jays were able to select him ninth overall. The operation typically requires a recovery period of 12-18 months, and Hoffman appears to be on track so far. His agency, CAA Sports, posted an instagram video of the 22-year-old right-hander pitching off of a mound.
If Hoffman’s name sounds familiar, it may be because the Baltimore Orioles targeted him when Blue Jays ownership showed interest in Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette earlier this off-season. Ultimately the Blue Jays declined to part with Hoffman, who’s expected make his professional debut early in the 2015 season.
“He should be in games in April, getting stretched out to start, and he should be activated to be with a team in early May,” GM Alex Anthopoulos told Sportsnet’s Jeff Blair. “He has looked great.”
Baseball America ranks Hoffman third among all Blue Jays prospects, behind only Daniel Norris and Aaron Sanchez. Hoffman has the potential to pitch atop a big league rotation, according to BA. While he doesn’t figure into the team’s immediate plans, his college experience could allow him to rise through the minor leagues relatively quickly.