Blue Jays sign first-rounders Hoffman, Pentecost

Blue Jays sign first-rounders Hoffman, Pentecost

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have signed their two first-round picks from the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

The club has agreed to terms with ninth overall pick Jeff Hoffman and 11th overall pick Max Pentecost, it was announced Wednesday.

Hoffman, a 21-year-old right-hander, was 3-3 with a 2.94 ERA with East Carolina this season. Tommy John surgery cut his season short, and he will miss all of 2014 while recovering. Hoffman had the procedure May 14.

Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Hoffman will head to the team's complex in Florida to continue his rehab, which will take approximately 14 months.

"We don't let anybody come back ... we really keep it to a minimum of 12 months with any Tommy John, and I don't see that changing," Anthopoulos said. "We came up with that when we had [B.J] Ryan here. I think he came back at 10 or 11 months and he ended up having a setback after, and so we decided to adjust it and delay things a little bit."

Hoffman was at one point considered to be a potential top-three pick, but his stock fell after he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, allowing the Blue Jays to take him in the No. 9 spot.

Pentecost, also 21, led Kennesaw State to the NCAA Super Regionals, and he ranked No. 1 in the country in hits (113) and No. 2 in batting average (.422). The Georgia native's standout performance earned him the Johnny Bench Award as the top catcher in college baseball. Past winners include Buster Posey and Kurt Suzuki. Once his paperwork is complete, he'll head to the club's Class A affiliate in Vancouver.

"Max, he's down in Florida [to] work out, take batting practice. He actually has to get his passport, and then we'll send him to Vancouver," said Anthopoulos. "He hasn't played in a while, so we need to just get him a little bit back into game shape. So hopefully, maybe late next week to the Canadians."

Pentecost also took Cape Cod Summer League Most Valuable Player honours in 2013, batting .336 with six home runs in 38 games. Both players signed for their full slot value. The Blue Jays have now signed 27 players from this year's Draft.

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.