Jamie Hoffmann's unlikely Dodger career began in 2009 after several breaks went his way. Going into 2009, the Dodger starting outfield was set. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp were the unquestioned starters in CF and RF and after prolonged negotiations taking seemingly all winter, the Dodgers had agreed to a 2 year contract with Manny Ramirez to start in LF. Providing depth behind the starters was the expensive benchwarmer in Juan Pierre and in the minor league ranks was Mr. AAAA Jason Repko and Xavier Paul (who had a great spring training which got the attention of the Dodgers front office.) As such, Hoffmann entered the year 7th on the Dodgers outfield depth chart. The Dodgers depth was tested though as Ramirez was suspended 50 games while Repko was already injured, forcing a Xavier Paul call-up to fill in as the 4th outfielder. Paul however only appeared in 11 games and 16 plate appearances before he was sidelined (for the season) and Jamie Hoffmann was called upon to provide outfield depth. Hoffmann's stay with the major league club was brief as he only recorded 24 plate appearances, but Hoffmann was able to contribute defensively (he can play all 3 outfield positions) and even hit a home run. Unfortunately for Jamie, he got dinged up himself and his services weren't needed much longer anyway, so he spent the rest of the season with the Isotopes.
Despite filling in while Manny (and Paul and Repko) were unavailable, Hoffmann was not called up when rosters expanded in 2009 (Repko was) and Hoffmann was surprisingly designated for assignment to remove him from the 40 man roster. Hoffmann went thru waivers unclaimed and was outrighted to AAA in late 2009.
Going into 2010, the Dodgers did not add Hoffmann to the 40 man roster which left him unprotected for the Rule 5 draft. The Yankees traded for the first selection in the draft and selected Hoffmann and invited him to spring training. Selecting a player in the Rule 5 draft requires that the player stay on the 25 man roster for the entire season or the player must be offered back to their original team. The Yankees decided that (interestingly enough) they preferred Marcus Thames to Jamie Hoffmann and Hoffmann was returned to the Dodgers before the 2010 season started. Hoffmann spent the entire 2010 season with the Dodgers in AAA.
Hoffman's defense has consistently been rated pretty strongly. Going into 2010, Hoffmann was rated the best defensive outfielder in the Yankee's system by Baseball America.
Hoffmann remains under club control with only 25 days of major league service time. Additionally, since Hoffmann was left off the 40 man roster in 2010 and not added again until 2011, Jamie has two options remaining.
|2011 Projections - Age 26 Season|
Considering the Dodgers history with Hoffmann, I doubt the organization values him too highly. Hoffmann was DFA'd in 2009 instead of Jason Repko, he was left exposed to the Rule 5 draft in 2010 and wasn't added back to the 40 man roster until 2011. It seems Hoffmann will again have a pretty remote chance of contributing to the major league club this season. Assuming Xavier Paul (who is out of options) is moved before opening day, Hoffmann will be (at best) 5th in the outfield depth chart going into the season. If Hoffmann is going to contribute, I expect it to be early in the year. Inadequate production from Jay Gibbons or Thames may force the front office to look outside the organization to plug the hole, or (assuming it is later in the season) either Jerry Sands or Trayvon Robinson will have demonstrated that they are ready to make the jump to the majors. Since Hoffmann is a non-propsect, an early injury to the outfield depth could force the Dodgers to call up Hoffmann, but I don't see it this season. Once the Dodgers decide to move on from the Gibbons/Thames platoon they will either look for an impact trade or one of the prospects will be ready to step in.
I don't expect any plate appearances for Jamie Hoffmann in 2011.
What is the community projections for Jamie Hoffmann?