Catcher Max Pentecost, the 11th-overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, made his professional debut on Monday, playing six innings in the Gulf Coast League. He went 0-for-3, but the Rookie-level Blue Jays defeated the Phillies, 4-0.
The Blue Jays selected Pentecost out of Kennesaw State with their second pick of the first round, two picks after they drafted right-hander Jeff Hoffman. The 11th pick of the Draft was the Blue Jays' compensation for not signing Phil Bickford, the 10th-overall selection in 2013. Both Hoffman and Pentecost signed last week, about a month after the Draft.
Pentecost was considered by many scouts to be the best all-around catcher in the Draft class. He hit .422/.482/.627 with nine home runs in 64 games this spring. General manager Alex Anthopoulos said Pentecost will likely be promoted soon to short-season Vancouver. Before then he needs to get back into game shape after a few weeks off and get his passport.
While Pentecost will soon be moving up, Hoffman's professional debut will have to wait. His junior season at East Carolina ended early when he underwent Tommy John surgery in May. He is continuing his rehab in Florida and will likely return to the mound sometime next season.