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Profiling the Pirates

Fifteen Questions
Monday, January 28, 2013

By W.A. Myatt

Fifteen Questions for Jeff Hoffman

By W.A. Myatt
All rights reserved.

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Right-hander Jeff Hoffman showed a lot of promise as a true freshman in 2012. Hoffman made 10 starts for East Carolina and had 19 appearances. His efforts over 73 and two-thirds innings produced a 3-2 record with a 3.67 earned run average. His mid-90s fast ball helped him record 55 strikeouts while issuing just 21 walks.

Article continues after the following picture.

Jeff Hoffman in action last season. (Photo: ECU Media Relations)

The 6-foot-4 Hoffman is from Latham, New York, where he also lettered in basketball at Shaker High School. Hoffman celebrated his 20th birthday on Jan. 8. He plans to major in physical education.

Hoffman started and pitched five innings in a 6-5 ECU win over N.C. State last season and also got the ball in the NCAA Tournament opener against St. John's in Chapel Hill, yielding four earned runs in four and one-third innings in an eventual 11-3 loss.

Jeff took time to talk Wednesday afternoon.

FQ: Favorite Restaurant in Greenville

A: Texas Roadhouse.

Q: Favorite TV show?

A: I'm a northern boy, so it was Jersey Shore. Now it would have to be Duck Dynasty — I've kind of adapted to the southern ways.

Q: Any pre-game rituals or routines?

A: Music. Definitely got to get the beats going. Other than that, just kind of thinking about what I've got to do.

Q: What are your expectations for yourself and the team this season?

A: High expectations. I expect nothing less than to go Omaha this year. It's the seniors' last go around and I really wanted to succeed for them.

Q: Why'd you choose to wear number 30?

A: (Director of ECU Baseball Operations and former Pirate catcher) Austin Homan wore it before me and he's a pretty good leader to follow. I kind of want to model my game after him.

Q: What brought you to East Carolina?

A: Warm weather, Coach Godwin and some baseball.

Q: What's your favorite pitch?

A: It'd have to be my cutter. I've been able to get a lot of outs with it, especially this summer. It was my go-to pitch when I needed to get somebody out.

Q: How important were upperclassmen like Kevin Brandt and Zach Wright in your development last year?

A: Very important. Kevin and Zach kind of showed me the ways of how to win at this level. It's not easy to win games at this level as a lot of people know, but Kevin was here for four years and he knew what he needed to do to win, which rubbed off on me a little bit.

Q: What would you be doing if you weren't playing baseball?

A: Trying to play basketball somewhere, actually. I love the game of basketball — I played all through high school, so that's probably what I'd be trying to do.

Q: If you could go against any batter from any era, who would it be?

A: I'd have to say Manny Ramirez. He's known as one of the best hitters who ever lived. Obviously, his days with the Red Sox would've been when I wanted to face him.

Q: How much did you improve this offseason?

A: I think I improved a lot, mainly as a leader. It was a pretty big offseason with me going to Cape Cod. A lot of people didn't know how I would do up there as a freshman. I took it as an opportunity to learn from guys all over the country, how they lead their teams. I feel like I got pretty good at taking younger guys under my wing and teaching them how to do the right things.

Q: Who's had the biggest impact on your life? Why?

A: My parents. Ever since I was little they've always been pushing me to be the best at whatever I do. My dad always coached me through little league, took me to tournaments and stuff like that. He told me if I worked hard, did what I had to do and stayed out of trouble, that I would be able to do whatever I wanted with this game.

Q: How will your role change this year compared to last season?

A: I'll have a little bigger role this year. Last year we had a lot of good guys, older guys, that were ahead of me. This year I'm going to have to kind of take this staff and throw them on my back. We have a lot of young guys who are going to be able to step into big roles this year. I hope I can rub off on them and get them to lead us some too.

Q: What's your favorite class you've taken at East Carolina?

A: I'd have to say Psychology. That's a weird answer from a student-athlete, but I had a lot of fun learning about the mind and how it works.

Q: What's the best moment of your playing career so far?

A: Winning the Section championship in high school. It was the first time my school had done it in a while and to be a part of a team like that, with the chemistry we had, it was special.

E-mail W.A. Myatt.

01/28/2013 01:05 AM


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