VX Baseball Player of Year: Scott Hoffman - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

VX Baseball Player of Year: Scott Hoffman

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Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 12:53 pm | Updated: 3:31 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

How many teams can replace a third-round major league draft pick who excels on the mound and at the plate?

At least one.

When Jake Barrett, the 2009 Tribune Baseball Player of the Year, graduated from Desert Ridge, it left a void atop the rotation, but not for long.

While Scott Hoffman doesn't throw as fast as Barrett - who was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays but elected to pitch at Arizona State - the results were just as impressive.

The junior left-hander finished this season 13-0 with a 2.01 ERA on the mound and hit .457 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs at the plate. He led the Jaguars to the 5A Division I state title and garnered the Tribune's baseball player of the year for 2010.

He didn't get much playing time last year, with Barrett and a host of other talented upperclassmen leading the way.

But a year of watching Barrett and a summer playing baseball for Team USA boosted his confidence, and Hoffman entered the year knowing what needed to be done.

"I learned a lot from Jake," Hoffman said. "I was still trying to figure everything out (as a sophomore), but (Team USA) gave me a lot of confidence because those were some really good players. I just worked at it and got better, and I really stepped up this year."

Hoffman's always had the skills, but Desert Ridge coach Pat Herrera noticed a player with a different demeanor this fall.

"He was so confident, that was the number one thing," Herrera said. "He's a competitor. He'll challenge anybody."

The competition wasn't just against the opposition.

Fellow starter Taylor Kaczmarek went 11-1 this season for Desert Ridge and was named the Gatorade Arizona Baseball Player of the Year.

Hoffman said the two pitchers pushed each other.

"I wanted to match him every single time out there," Hoffman said.

Herrera knew he had a good pitcher, but never envisioned one that could go undefeated through an entire season, including the win in the state championship game.

"I didn't think he would be perfect," Herrera said. "The thing with Scotty, he gave us a chance to win every day. I didn't expect (13-0) at all, but he did. That's why he was so good."

All-Tribune first team

Player                     Yr.         School            Pos.         Comment

Josh Alexander     Sr.   Mountain Pointe  OF   .500 with 14 HRs, 46 RBIs

Jason Gonzales    Sr.       Mesquite         OF   .438 with 11 HRs, 26 SBs

Kendall Konopka  Sr.  Marcos de Niza     OF   .606 with 10 HRs, 46 RBIs

Cole Gleason        Jr.    Red Mountain      IF   .514 with 18 HRs, 57 RBIs

Taylor Lindsey      Sr.  Desert Mountain   IF   .557 with 14 HRs, 48 RBIs

Travis Flores        Sr.     Desert Ridge      IF   .505 with 15 HRs, 60 RBIs

Jorge Flores        Sr.       Hamilton           IF   .486, stole 26 bases, defensive wizard

Kevin Cron          Jr.    Mountain Pointe   C   .495, tied state record with 22 HRs

Zach Davies       Jr.        Mesquite           P      9-1 with a 1.58 ERA, dominant in playoffs

Scott Hoffman    Jr.      Desert Ridge      P      13-0 with 2.01 ERA, 76 Ks

Taylor Kaczmarek  Sr.  Desert Ridge    UT     .436, 12 HRs, 54 RBIs at plate; 11-1, 2.16 ERA on mound

D.J. Peterson    Sr.         Gilbert            DH      OBP of .646 with E.V.-best 29 walks, hit nine HRs

Player of the Year: Scott Hoffman, Desert Ridge

Coach of the Year: Eric Kibler, Horizon: Led Huskies to 5A-II title after slow start.

All-Tribune second team

Player                    Yr.     School      Pos.             Comment

Zach Gibbons      So.    Saguaro    OF          .461, 6 HRs, 14 SB

Chris Akmon        So.    Saguaro    OF      .500 with 11 HRs, 55 RBIs

Jake Peevyhouse Jr.     Pinnacle    OF        OBP of.614; no errors on defense

T.J. Bennett         Sr.  Red Mountain  IF   .463 with 15 HRs, 46 RBIs

James McDonald  Sr.   Chaparral      IF     Second AZ high schooler drafted this year

Ryan Casillas       Sr.    Hamilton      IF    .422 with 10 HRs, 42 RBIs

Drew Stankiewicz Jr.     Gilbert        IF .495 with nine HRs, 32 RBIs

T.C. Mark             Sr.   Pinnacle        C     .464 with 15 HRs, 50 RBIs

Joey Danner       Sr.     Horizon        P     Ace of state champion Huskies

Jared Gaynor      Sr. Scottsdale Christian   P     8-2, 1.08 ERA, 117 strikeouts

Michael Benjamin  Sr.    Basha       UT       .494, slugging percentage of .940

Kyle Jorgensen   So.   Corona del Sol   DH       .474, 10 HR, 39 RBI

Honorable Mention

Arcadia: Jake MacWilliam, Sr. DH; Brophy: Joe Maggi, Sr., OF; Chaparral: Konner Wade, Sr., P; Blake Spiekerman, Sr, OF; Desert Vista: Shaun Chase, Jr., C; Matt Wehrli, Sr., OF; Fountain Hills: Curtis Martinez, So. P; Bryce Geager, Jr., 2B; Gilbert: Colton Thomson, Sr., 1B; Gilbert Christian: Lucas Sorrells, Sr., 3B; Higley: Brandon Boggs, Jr. OF; Horizon: Conor Chancey, Sr., 1B; Dillon Everett, Sr., SS; Notre Dame: Taylor Scott, Jr., 2B; Joey Greco, Jr., 1B; Perry: David Walker, Jr., 2B; Queen Creek: Jason Frost, Sr., C; Red Mountain: Ryne Dean, Jr., C; Saguaro: Kurt Jahnke, Sr., P; Scottsdale Christian: Logan Demenico, Jr. DH; Willie Renard, Sr. UT; Logan Gangsei, Jr. OF; Valley Christian: Wil Lane, Jr., P.

Memorable moments from the 2010 season:

Desert Ridge run:  One year after winning the 5A-II state championship, the Jaguars moved up a classification and breezed to the 5A-I title. Desert Ridge went 31-4 this season and didn’t lose a game in the state tournament. The Jaguars had a solid combination of pitching, hitting and defense and have quickly turned themselves into one of the state’s top programs.

Monster mash:  Mountain Pointe junior catcher Kevin Cron tied a state record by hitting 22 home runs this year. The final one came in the state championship game on an injured ankle. Cron tied former Desert Vista star Corey Myers’ mark from 1999. He is only a junior, and is closing in on the state’s career home record as well.

Chaos:  The most unforgettable play of the state tournament came in the clash between Mesquite and Laveen Cesar Chavez, when the umpires called a triple play. Originally, the call ended the game because the umpires said Mesquite batter Lane Doty never touched first base. But that call was changed, so while a triple play was still recorded, a run from third base scored. That tied the game, and the Wildcats went on to win in extra innings.

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]