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HOUSTON – Many radar guns and even some Major League Baseball general managers present, East Carolina junior righthanded pitcher Jeff Hoffman, considered one of the top five overall prospects for the upcoming MLB draft, couldn't have had a much better audition to be the No. 1 overall pick to the Houston Astros.
Perhaps his performance in a win over Rice was a sign of things to come for Hoffman and the City of Houston. Maybe not. But either way, Hoffman was at his best when he, and especially the Pirates, needed him the most.
East Carolina has had a rather rocky 2014 campaign, which included a tough start. Along with the rest of the team struggling, those things wore off on Hoffman as well. There have been times this spring where he hasn't had command of his fastball, while in other instances he hasn't been sharp with his primary secondary offerings – a changeup and curveball.
Coincidentally, the Pirates have played much better the past few weeks. Hoffman's win over the Owls set the stage for a huge road weekend series, and coach Billy Godwin's Pirates now have won four-straight series. With each of those series wins, we've seen a more confident, crisper, Jeff Hoffman.
Jeff Hoffman was as good as it gets last week against Rice. (ECU photo)
“You know, I think I've gotten more comfortable with each outing this season,” Hoffman said. “I was listening to a podcast (with PG's Frankie Piliere included), and I heard them talking about me rushing my delivery and trying not to be so quick to home. I went to our pitching coach (Dan Roszel), and he agreed that I needed to slow things down a bit.
“As you saw, I think I fixed that today.”
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