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Report: Top draft prospect Jeff Hoffman needs Tommy John surgery

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

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East Carolina right-hander Jeff Hoffman will miss the rest of the season with an arm injury, according to Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game. ESPN's Keith Law says he needs Tommy John surgery.

Hoffman, 21, was a projected top five pick in this June's draft and a candidate to go first overall. He missed a start with shoulder inflammation a few weeks ago, so this is two arm problems in the span of a month.

In 10 starts and 67 1/3 innings this spring, Hoffman has gone 3-3 with a 2.94 ERA and a 72/20 K/BB. The numbers are not as good as his stuff, which includes a big mid-90s fastball, a knockout breaking ball and a promising changeup (not to mention a 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame).

It will be very interesting to see whether a team still drafts Hoffman next month. He's a top talent but will be out until the middle of next year. His asking price will probably remain high too. Given the usual Tommy John surgery rehab timetable, Hoffman won't get much of a chance to show his stuff for scouts before the 2015 draft.

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