Jamie Hoffmann Taken by Yankees with First Pick in the Rule Five Draft

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Jamie Hoffmann Taken by Yankees with First Pick in the Rule Five Draft
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With the first pick in the 2009 Rule Five Draft that the Yankees received in return for Brian Bruney, they selected Jamie Hoffmann, an outfielder in the Dodgers' system.

Hoffmann will be 25 years old for the 2009 season, stands 6'3", and weighs 220. Interestingly enough, he was undrafted and found by a scout who convinced him to sign with the Dodgers, even though he had primarily been playing hockey (he was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes).

He has made a solid impression since starting his career, and was ranked in the Dodgers' 22nd best prospect by Baseball America in 2009. In their midseason rankings, the guys at True Blue L.A. had him ranked at various spots, but no lower than 21st.

Hoffmann started out as a third baseman, but was moved to the outfield after his first year in the minors. Baseball America ranked him the best defensive outfielder in the Dodgers' system before the 2009 season, but TotalZone agrees that he had a strong defensive season in 2008. He was only average in 2009, though. It's definitely fair to defer to the scouts here and say he is a plus defender in the corners.

On the offensive side of the ball, he has been solid. In 2009, his best offensive season, he struck out only once more than he walked between Double-A and Triple-A. He has gap power and has hit 10 home runs in each of the past two seasons.

Over his career, he hasn't hit lefties particularly well, but in 2009 he put up a .974 OPS against them after posting a .691 OPS versus lefties in 2008. This took place in a small sample of 120 at-bats, so I'm not sure how much stock we should put in that improvement.

Hoffmann is a big guy, but he is also deceptively fast. This hasn't turned him into a good base stealer, though. While he has stolen 91 bags, he's been caught 43 times—a pretty bad rate.

All together, I like the pick for the Yankees. They didn't grab someone who has an extremely high ceiling, but they got someone who is likely to stick and can help the team.

More later on which Yankees get taken in the draft.

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