1 underrated Reds player whose performance went unnoticed in 2022

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jeff Hoffman
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jeff Hoffman / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Several Cincinnati players had down-years in 2022 which inevitably set the stage for the Reds to lose 100 games. But there were a handful of players who played better than the back of their baseball card would lead one to believe. One of those players was relief pitcher Jeff Hoffman.

Hoffman was traded to the Cincinnati Reds prior to the 2021 season in exchange for Robert Stephenson and Jameson Hannah. Cincinnati also received pitcher Case Williams who was actually dealt back to the Rockies at the 2021 trade deadline.

Hoffman saw some time as a starter in 2021, but after getting shellacked in that role, the right-hander was converted into a reliever and posted some very solid numbers down the stretch of his first season in Cincinnati.

Reds RHP Jeff Hoffman's performance went unnoticed in 2022.

Jeff Hoffman filled a role in 2022 and he did it quite well. When Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell needed someone to stop the bleeding, he typically called upon Hoffman. The 29-year-old finished with a 3.83 ERA in 35 appearances out of the bullpen.

Hoffman posted a strikeout-rate of 22.8% and a walk-rate of 11.7% according to FanGraphs. While the number of free passes has always been something that has haunted Hoffman throughout his career, that number was actually down from 2021.

Hoffman also saw a decrease in several advanced metrics as well. According to Baseball Savant, Hoffman's hard-hit percentage, expected batting average, and expected slugging percentage all saw a reduction in 2022.

An elbow injury cut Jeff Hoffman's 2022 season short, but the right-hander is expected to return healthy beginning next season. Hoffman will be entering Year 2 of his arbitration window, and according to MLB Trade Rumors, can expect to take home somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2M next season.

Hoffman will likely return to his role as middle/ long reliever in 2023 and could be a key piece to a Cincinnati bullpen that will be looking to bounce back from a dreadful 2022 campaign.

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