MLB Draft Prospect Profile: Illinois RHP Andrew Hoffman

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The 2021 MLB Draft will take place on July 11-13, and it will be televised on MLB Network. If you’ll be watching it from Big Ten country, then one prospect you probably might be familar with is Andrew Hoffman, RHP, Illinois. The Plainfield East high school graduate transferred to Illinois from Oakland and he has three years of eligibility remaining.

The winner of the most outstanding pitcher award, from Illinois fall ball season entered the campaign as the No. 5 incoming draft prospect in the Big Ten, according to Baseball America.

Where Hoffman ends up going is of course a roll of the dice.

He’s probably a day two pick, but with the MLB Draft, you just never know. Sometimes you hit, sometimes you lose, like a spin on the roulette wheel. All drafts are gambles so to speak, and the baseball draft is no different. Speaking of baseball wagering, you can find out which way BetQL’s model is picking for tonight’s MLB games here. I’m guessing that picking against the Cubs right now is a smart bet.

But Andrew Hoffman is one name you’ll likely hear called at some point, as he’s the No. 140 prospect, overall, in the nation according to D1Baseball.

2015-mlb-mock-draft tyler jay

He’s 1-0 on the season with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP, striking out 36 and walking 7 in 31 innings pitched.

Yesterday, Illinois coach Dan Hartleb discussed what makes Hoffman such a top prospect.

“He’s had opportunities to pitch against the best and he’s kept us in every single game,” said Hartleb.

“He’s left games tied, left games ahead…with him I think you need to look at, not the 1-0 record but you have to look at the quality starts and the opportunities he’s given us to stay in, and I think he’s going to be a good pitcher for years to come and I think he’s going to be a good draft choice, and I think he’ll have an opportunity to move.”

Hartleb then shifted from discussing Hoffman specficially to looking at the draft, and the self-interests of baseball draft prospects in general.

“I have a different feel when it comes to the draft,” he continued. “I think if a guy is a true prospect, he should sign as a junior and go, and I think that guy who are just drafts, but not true prospects should come back, finish their senior year and then go play.”

“I believe Andrew is a true prosect, he’s performed well ebough to get himself fairly high up in the drat and stay healthy and move through the minor leagues and get an opportunity to make some money in the big leagues.”

Hoffman is ranked the #14 MLB Draft prospect in the Big Ten by D1Baseball, #20 in the league by Baseball America and #22 in the conference by Perfect Game.

Hartleb discussed the specific attributes that makes Hoffman such a promising professional prospect.

“What makes Andrew so special, first of all he has got an unbelievable mentality,” he continued.

“He competes like no other, he’s got extreme confidence in himself, in a very good way.

“He’ll throw you any pitch at any time in any count. He’ll double up on pitches at times.

“The thing I’m so impressed with, he remembers every pitch and everything he does to try and get a hitter out. So he faces you the first time, the second time through the lineup, he remembers if it worked, or if he should chage things up.

“He’s just got a great feel, the velocity, the body type.

“Being a starter, I think he has that potential, and if he can’t make it to the big leagues or move up as a starter, I think there’s potential that he can make it as a long reliever as well.

“And he’s a guy who’s gotten better each year.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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