Potential Top 5 Pick Jeff Hoffman To Undergo Tommy John Surgery

2:14pm: Perfect Game’s Frankie Piliere has more details on the situation, noting that Hoffman was recently shut down due to what was thought to be swelling in his elbow but turned out to be a small tear. A meeting with Dr. James Andrews led to the recommendation for Tommy John, which will happen next week.

Piliere reports that many teams were aware of this situation prior to today’s news, and there are even clubs with picks in the No. 5-10 range that are still considering Hoffman. One of the teams in the range to which Piliere refers — the Twins, who pick fifth — will not consider Hoffman in the first round, reports 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson (via Twitter)

1:44pm: East Carolina University right-hander Jeff Hoffman — a projected Top 5 pick in this year’s amateur draft — will miss the remainder of the season with an arm injury, reports Kendall Rogers of PerfectGame.org (via Twitter). ESPN’s Keith Law adds that the news is even worse than that, as Hoffman will require Tommy John surgery (Twitter link).

Scouting reports indicate that Hoffman is an excellent athlete with a fastball that reaches 97 mph and a plus curveball when he’s at his best. The 6’4″, 192-pound right-hander has posted a 2.94 ERA in 67 1/3 innings this season, striking out 72 batters against 20 walks and holding opponents to a .216 batting average.

Hoffman’s injury doesn’t necessarily preclude him from being selected in the first or second round of the draft. In 2012, right-hander Lucas Giolito was considered a potential No. 1 overall pick before he sprained his UCL, causing him to drop to the Nationals with the 16th pick. Last season, injury concerns over former projected Top 5 pick Sean Manaea caused him to fall to the Royals with the No. 34 pick. Clubs with extra draft picks and/or large draft pools could take a chance on Hoffman, conceding the year of development time and a slower start to his career in order to land a Top 5 talent far later than originally anticipated.

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