Phillies 2024 Season Preview: RHP Jeff Hoffman

Will Hoffman carry his incredible 2023 into 2024, or will he regress to his career norms?
Philadelphia Phillies reliever Jeff Hoffman
Philadelphia Phillies reliever Jeff Hoffman / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The next player spotlighted in our Philadelphia Phillies 2024 Season Preview series is right-handed relief pitcher Jeff Hoffman.

Previous season previews: José AlvaradoAndrew BellattiAlec BohmConnor BrogdonNick CastellanosRodolfo CastroKody ClemensJake Cave, Dylan Covey, Seranthony Domínguez, Kolby Allard, Bryce Harper

We'll examine Hoffman's 2023 season and then evaluate projections for the 2024 season using the Steamer and ZiPS projection systems, which can be found on FanGraphs.

Jeff Hoffman 2023 stats and 2024 projections

2023 Stats: 54 G, 52.1 IP, 5-2 record, 2.41 ERA, 2.57 FIP, 0.92 WHIP, 69 SO, 19 BB, 1.5 fWAR

2024 Steamer: 73 G, 73 IP, 4-3 record, 3.87 ERA, 4.10 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 84 SO, 31 BB, 0.6 fWAR

2024 ZiPS DC: 73 G, 73 IP, 5-5 record, 4.13 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 1.27 WHIP, 86 SO, 31 BB, 0.8 fWAR

Jeff Hoffman 2024 season preview

Jeff Hoffman was one of the biggest surprises for the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2023 season. The former first-round pick (ninth overall, Toronto Blue Jays) had struggled to live up to the pressures of being a top prospect, and his career had appeared to stall after unsuccessful stints with the Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds. Drafted to be a top-of-the-rotation starter, Hoffman couldn't define a consistent role during his two seasons with the Reds from 2021 to 2022.

Signed as a minor league free agent by the Minnesota Twins last offseason, Hoffman couldn't secure a roster spot in spring training and exercised his right to opt out of a deal when he didn't make the ballclub. On March 28, Hoffman signed a minor league contract with the Phillies.

Called up to the big club on May 4, Hoffman turned heads immediately and became one of Rob Thomson's most trusted bullpen options by mid-season. The late bloomer pitched like his career depended on it and, as a result, became a go-to guy when the Phillies needed a quality inning from a right-handed reliever.

His career resurgence resulted in a record of 5-2 with a 2.41 ERA, a 2.57 FIP, and a dominant 11.87 K/9. Can Jeff Hoffman repeat this performance in 2024, or is he a one-year wonder?

Hoffman is projected to regress in most categories in 2024

Entering 2024, Jeff Hoffman is expected to be a key part of the Phillies bullpen again. After agreeing to a one-year $2.2 million contract to avoid arbitration, the 31-year-old will likely be trusted to pitch in big game situations and fill a role in the back end of a dominant Philadelphia bullpen. But what do FanGraph's 2024 projections predict for Hoffman?

Both Steamer and ZiPS DC models have Hoffman appearing in a career-high 73 games this season, and both see increasing strikeout totals for Hoffman as a result. The added workload isn't kind to Hoffman's win-loss totals in 2024. ZiPS DC has him with a 5-5 record, with Steamer projecting him to go 4-3.

While Hoffman was able to produce a career best 2.41 ERA in 2023, both models predict him coming back to earth this season with 3.87 (Steamer) and 4.13 (ZiPS DC). While it's possible big league hitters could figure out Hoffman in 2024, the hope is that the adjustments he made last season will carry over when this season starts.

Hoffman's K/9 of 11.87 was off the charts last season, and this is another category where he is expected to regress slightly. ZiPS DC predicts that falling to 10.32, while Steamer projects him to produce a 10.56 K/9. If Jeff Hoffman strikes out hitters at a 28 percent rate this season, like the models project him to do, it's a positive sign that the hard-throwing right-hander is doing his job.

Who is the real Jeff Hoffman? This season will be a major test for the trusted reliever. While his numbers projected by these two models point to regression in some areas, a healthy and efficient Hoffman will be an important weapon for the Phillies again in 2024.