Rockies Look For Boost From Hoffman

The Rockies already got a boost offensively from calling up top prospect David Dahl last month. Now, they will try and get the same type of boost to their pitching staff with Jeff Hoffman.

The Rockies will call Hoffman up to make his major league debut on Saturday against the Cubs, according to multiple reports. Hoffman, the Rockies’ No. 3 prospect at midseason and a Futures Game participant, was 6-9, 4.02 with 124 strikeouts and 44 walks in 118 2/3 innings pitched for Triple-A Albuquerque.


The Blue Jays drafted Hoffman ninth overall in the 2014 draft out of East Carolina, making him the second college righthander taken after Aaron Nola. The Rockies acquired him in the summer of 2015 as the centerpiece prospect in the Troy Tulowitzki trade and have watched him flourish since joining the organization.

Hoffman can bring the heat as well as anyone with a fastball that gets up to 99 mph and comfortably sits in the 93-96 range. He commands it well in the lower half of the zone–leading to a 1.19 groundouts-to-air out ratio in his minor league career–and backs it up with a low-80s power curve and a mid-80s changeup that both have plus potential. What has made him even more dangerous this year is increased use of his slider, which was restricted by the Rockies front office last year but is now flying free. It is a pitch that is beginning to draw plus grades with good depth and tilt, and Hoffman is showing the ability to land it in the strike zone or bury it in the dirt to get swings and misses.

The development of his arsenal into a strong four-pitch mix, rather than three, has helped his strikeout rate jump to career-best 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings. However, he has also experienced a career-high walk rate (3.3/9) as he’s worked to get a feel for all of his pitches.


Like any young pitcher, Hoffman will have his ups and downs in his first taste of the majors, particularly with his first three outings scheduled to line up against playoff contenders in the Cubs, Nationals and Dodgers.

Still, Hoffman has the stuff to make a contribution to the Rockies staff immediately with above-average command, four different quality pitches and the ability to keep the ball down and get a large share of swings-and-misses. Eventually, he could be a front-of-the-rotation starter.

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