Fighting Illini draft pick
The Atlanta Braves ventured to my home state for their next selection; 6’-5, 210-pound, right-handed pitcher Andrew Hoffman, out of Illinois University ranked number 473 by Baseball America.
Hoffman was the best right-handed pitcher on the Illinois staff. According to Sportsbank, he was named the outstanding pitcher of the Illinois fall ball season and entered 2021 and the Big Ten’s number five prospect.
His coach Dan Hartleb told Sportsbank to ignore his won/lost record. Hoffman pitched against the best teams and kept the Illini in every game.
". . .look at the quality starts and the opportunities he’s given us to stay in, and I think he’s going to be a good pitcher for years to come and I think he’s going to be a good draft choice"
Baseball America says Hoffman was “Illinois’ best arm” and has projectability for “expectation might be for more physicality or for better stuff .”
His Baseball-Reference page shows that his transfer to the Big Ten conference and better coaching significantly improved his performance. He finished the 2021 season with a 2.87 ERA, 1.021 WHIP, and a 9.2 K/0 K-rate.
D1 Baseball ranked Hoffman as the number 14 Big Ten prospect in the draft.
Let’s play catch.
After nabbing two pitchers, the Atlanta Braves turned their attention to a 6’-3, 230-pound catcher out of St John Fisher College (NY), Adam Zebrowski.
In his three years at St John’s, Zebrowski batted .466/.558/.932/1.489. In 187 PA this season, he batted .500/.594/.993/1.587, including 13 doubles and 20 homers, striking out 13 times and walking 26. His 20-jacks and 70 RBI led all Division III schools.
His BBR page shows a pretty good season in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League as well.
Although he was almost a year younger than the average league player, Zebrowski batted .360/.450/.820/.1.270, including five doubles and six homers, in 60 PA over 16 games.
I watched the video above and another one from the 2020 season to check out his movement behind the plate, and for a big man, he’s pretty quick. He played a few games at first base as well if the need to move him comes up.