San Bernardino, California —— At the top of this post, watch our video of Los Angeles Angels right-handed pitching prospect Adam Hofacket‘s pitching mechanics, taken from an outing of his in April, 2017 for the Inland Empire 66ers coming out of the bullpen against the Lake Elsinore Storm in the California League (High-A).
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Adam Hofacket scouting report notes
A somewhat-undersized relief pitcher with quick arm action and good arm speed on all his pitches, Adam Hofacket was promoted to Double-A Mobile yesterday after cruising through the first month of the minor league season in the California League. In 16.1 innings pitched over 10 games with Inland Empire, Hofacket was 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA and a .203 opponents’ batting average, and had whiffed 16 batters against just three walks. On Monday night, he threw a scoreless inning in his Double-A debut, too.
Hofacket does all this with a 90-94 mph fastball, and while it’s a straight pitch with little by way of run, he couples it with a hard sinker that sits in the mid- to upper-80s and gives him a good second look in hitters’ counts. Both those pitches are slightly harder this year than they were when I saw him in the Cal League in 2016, and if Hofacket can add a little more velocity still to each of them in the next year or two, he could become an interesting fringy relief prospect for the Los Angeles Angels.
He has some mild deception in a high-effort delivery, and hides the ball pretty well on his way to the plate. With very short, clean arm action, he almost looks like you’d expect a catcher to be on the mound. A high-three quarters/nearly overhand arm slot means that when he throws the ball down in the zone, he can get good plane on his pitches, and even though he throws across his body at times, and against a stiff landing leg, he shows a pretty decent feel for both command and control of all his pitches.
In addition to the fastball and sinker, Hofacket throws a slider from 81-84 mph that shows decent depth and late break, and a changeup at 79-83 mph that has above-average tumble at times. Both those pitches are a step or two behind his hard stuff right now, but if one can grow into a true out pitch—especially that slider, to pair its glove-side break with the arm-side action of the sinker—Hofacket could quickly become an overachiever out of the Double-A bullpen.
Long term, you’re probably looking at an organizational depth piece, with a likely best-case scenario of an up-and-down relief role between Triple-A and the big leagues. Hofacket helps himself in every way, though; he’s a good athlete, he throws strikes, and he understands how to set up hitters with an approach a bit beyond his years. All those things should have him maximizing his potential, and there’s always a shot that a strike-throwing reliever in the low- to mid-90s can get a sustained look in the big leagues. But until the slider becomes a true wipeout pitch or his fastball jumps into the next higher working velocity band, Hofacket is something of a wild card.
He’s benefitted quite a bit from moving to the bullpen full-time after his exceptional career at Cal Baptist University as a starter. Now, as he perfects the relief role with his abilities, expect him to spend quite a bit of time in the upper minors the next few years while probably getting a shot or two with the Los Angeles Angels along the way.
To visit Adam Hofacket’s player page, please click here.
Adam Hofacket scouting report: 140 characters or less
A strike thrower with a good sinker, Adam Hofacket’s refined command and ability to attack should push him to overachieve with the Angels.
Adam Hofacket scouting report video
Here’s a look at our most recent Adam Hofacket baseball video, taken during an outing he made against Lake Elsinore in mid-April before his call-up to Double-A:
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Adam Hofacket scouting report GIFs
In addition to our video clips, we broke out some Adam Hofacket baseball GIFs for a deeper look at his mechanics, etc.:
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In this Los Angeles Angels / Adam Hofacket baseball scouting report: