Hoffmann reflects upon 2013 season
NEW ULM – Former New Ulmite Jamie Hoffmann just completed his ninth season in professional baseball with the Las Vegas 51’s , the AAA affiliate of the New York Mets.
“I think that it went well,” said Hoffmann, who ended with a .277 batting average.
Hoffmann hit nine home runs and drove in 56 runs.
“We made the playoffs but we lost in the first round,” Hoffmann said. “I had some success – had some ups and downs – but that is how baseball goes.
“All in all I was happy with the way things went. Unfortunately I did not get an opportunity in the big leagues, but it is all about being in the right place at the right time.”
As of now, Hoffmann is not signed with the Mets for next season. He said he does not know what next season will bring.
“We will just see what happens,” Hoffmann said. “I have until five days after the World Series ends to talk with them and after that free agency starts.”
Last offseason as a free agent from Baltimore, Hoffmann signed with the Mets only to see them add major league ourfielder Rick Ankiel early in the year.
That meant that there was one less potential spot on the major league roster and ended up sending Hoffmann deeper in the AAA roster.
The same scenario happened when Hoffmann was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Did he get a sense of deja vu?
“Yeah it did, but that is the nature of the game,” said Hoffmann, who added 29 doubles and scored 48 runs. “There are always going to be some free agents on the market that have had some big league time.
“Teams look to sign players like that so they can fill holes without giving younger players opportunities. The Mets did not do that; they gave a lot of younger players opportunties and moved a lot of younger players up and a lot of younger players down. Their roster was not set in stone.”
Hoffmann said his manager in Las Vegas, Wally Bachman, was happy with everything he had contributed to the team in 2013.
“He said he would love to have me back next year,” Hoffmann said. “I told him I enjoyed the experience. All in all it was a very fun year.”
Hoffmann said that in his nine years, he has found that there is always something new to learn.
“It might be something little,” Hoffmann said. “I learned things this year that I had not in the previous eight and I am sure that the exact same thing will happen next year.”
Hoffmann said he uses that philosophy when a rookie asks him for advice.
“You are your own coach – you may get traded to a different team next year and not have that same coach to help you, so you need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and work on both of them,” Hoffmann said. “Pick up on what other players have done for success and applying that to your game.”
Being a possible free agent can be either a blessing or a curse for Hoffmann.
“You could possibly shop teams against each other but you could also be sitting on your couch at home when spring training starts,” Hoffmann said. “It is a risk but it comes with the territory. I have gotten use to it the last couple of years so we will see what happens.”