Yesterday the Colorado Rockies promoted right-handed pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman to the major league roster. He saw action against the Cubs in a doubleheader, throwing 1.1 innings of relief with a hit and a run allowed while fanning two. This was an expedient for the doubleheader and his long-term future remains as a starter. Let’s review.
Drafted in the first round in 2014 out of East Carolina by the Toronto Blue Jays, Hoffman came to Colorado in the Troy Tulowitzki deal. He made 22 starts for Triple-A Albuquerque in 2016, posting a 4.02 ERA with a 124/44 K/BB, then made six starts and two relief appearances with the Rockies late last year, though retaining rookie status for 2017.
Hoffman ranked second on the Colorado Rockies Top 20 prospects for 2017 list with the following grade and commentary:
2) Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Grade B+/B: Age 24, first round pick by Blue Jays in 2014, traded to Rockies in Troy Tulowitzki deal; posted 4.02 ERA with 124/44 K/BB in 119 innings in Triple-A, then 4.88 ERA with 22/17 K/BB in 31 major league innings; fastball 92-95 with higher peaks; mixes in curveball and change-up; showed steady command in difficult Pacific Coast League but was more tentative in the majors, not unusual of course; I don’t think he’s a future ace but should be a fine mid-rotation arm with more adjustments. ETA 2017.
He’s made six starts for Albuquerque this year, posting a 3.71 ERA in 34 innings with a 29/10 K/BB and 28 hits allowed.
Hoffman has performed well in Triple-A considering the PCL environment and is ready for a full major league trial, although for now there doesn’t seem to be a rotation spot open for him. That could change at any time given the vagaries of baseball.
I still see him as a number three starter type, although if someone wanted to turn him into a reliever he’d likely be excellent in the role.