2014 Draft: Day 1 in the books

On the main site you’ll find today’s articles on the Blue Jays top picks. Right-hander Jeff Hoffman was the first player taken by the Blue Jays at ninth overall, Max Pentecost went 11th overall and right-hander Sean Reid-Foley surprisingly dropped all the way into the secound round at No. 49. There will be more on Reid-Foley tomorrow but in the meantime in addition to the main articles here are some additional quotes from Hoffman:

Jeff Hoffman:

On being a potential top three pick until he underwent Tommy John surgery in May…
“Obviously with everything that happened, it was a little bit of a disappointment when it all went down, when I found out I needed the surgery but I didn’t really let that feeling hang on for too long. I wanted to keep that positive attitude and get right back to it as quickly as I can. Once I got under the knife and got the surgery, I got right back to work, right back into the rehab and now I’m just really excited to get back into business with a great organization.”

On comments made to the New York Times earlier in the week that made it seem like he’ll be pitching with a chip on his shoulder…
“To some extent I think that could be pretty accurate. But I’m not the one that’s going to pitch with that kind of energy every day. I’m going to go out there with energy no matter what, not just because a few teams passed on me. I’m going to go out there and pitch my game and I’m excited to get to do that for the Blue Jays.”

On the type of pitcher he is…
“First and foremost, I’m a pitcher that is going to pound the fastball in there until the other team proves they can hit it. I’m going to pitch heavy with the fastball, I’m going to pitch in with the fastball and once they prove that they can hit that I’m going to spin the changeup and the offspeed pitches in the zone. When I get those pitches in the zone, any given day, I’m going to be able to compete and win.”

On the type of pitcher he is…
“It’s feeling absolutely phenomenal. That’s something I can give all the credit to Dr. Andrews with that, he was absolutely phenomenal with me. Did everything himself, was unbelievably hands on … I can get on a stationary bike now and it feels really good to get back up and get back after it.”

With Blue Jays not expecting to be able to grab you a few months ago… how familiar were you able to become with the organization in a short amount of time?
“They had been in contact, not too much before the injury, but after the injury I got to know them very well. I got to know the GM and all that stuff. I have nothing but excitement to be able to join the Blue Jays organization, a great organization. I’m excited to get down and get back after the rehab.”

On his signability and willingness to go pro…
“After the Blue Jays took me I was very excited, I’m looking forward to getting something done and as soon as the Blue Jays are ready, me and my family are going to sit down and we’re going to try and get something done as soon as possible.”

On his biggest areas of growth as a junior prior to the injury…
“I think the biggest thing is I was able to get my offspeed pitches over early in games. In past years, that was something I had to get better at. I think as the year went on, this past season, I did a better job of getting those pitches over early in games and that made it a lot easier to pitch throughout the game.

On his impressions of the Blue Jays…
First of all, when I started meeting with the Blue Jays, I got a real good sense of what their organization is about and I know that they’re an organization that is up and coming, they’re ready to win and they’re ready to win now. My feeling on that is, as soon as I can, as soon as I’m back on the mound, I’m going to get as far as I can and try to make an impact as soon as possible on that team.”

You went undrafted out of high school three years ago… ever think you’d be in this position now?
“No, I didn’t think I would be in this position at all but at the same time I really trusted my work ethic and I trusted that I was going to be able to do anything that I wanted to do if I put in the work and I put in the time and effort. Put that confidence in with a great support staff at East Carolina with the weight trainers and our athletic trainers and that’s a great recipe for success.”

On Tweeting earlier in the day that he was watching the Blue Jays/Tigers game…
“It was something that I had hoped I would be part of that organization but I didn’t know for sure yet. I was sitting down and watching one of my favorite pitchers in the game. It was fun and now that I look back on it, it’s kind of crazy how all of that went down.”

Also, Pentecost is in the middle of a playoff run with his KSU Owls so he wasn’t available for comment Thursday night. I’m sure that will change soon but in the mean time his athletics department released a video with his reaction and it’s worth a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-tDT4Z2bFE

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