Jeremy Hefner

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Jeremy Scott Hefner

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Biographical Information[edit]

Jeremy Hefner made the majors in 2012.

Hefner was All-State as a high school senior. He was 5-4 with 2 saves, a 4.03 ERA and 47 strikeouts (but 23 walks) in 46 innings as a freshman at Seminole State College. He was drafted by the New York Mets in the 46th round of the 2004 amateur draft; however, he opted not to sign. He had similar numbers as a sophomore (4-1, 4.25, 49 K in 36 IP). He was again drafted by the Mets in the 48th round of the 2005 amateur draft and again did not sign. Transferring to Oral Roberts, he went 9-2 with a 3.03 ERA, 107 strikeouts and only 67 hits allowed in 86 innings. He led the Mid-Continent Conference in wins, complete games (5) and shutouts (2), was second to teammate Chance Chapman in strikeouts and was in the top 5 in ERA. He made All-MCC as a starting pitcher, joining Chapman and Brandon Fulenchek in being selected.

He signed with scout Lane Decker for $129,000 after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2007 amateur draft (between Kyle Blair and Andrew Romine) by the San Diego Padres, beginning his professional career that year.

Pitching for the Eugene Emeralds in 2007, Hefner went 2-5 with a 3.90 ERA in 17 games (11 starts), striking out 74 batters in 62 1/3 innings. He tied Mat Latos for third in the Northwest League in whiffs (behind Bruce Billings and Derek Holland) and was 8th in ERA (between Chase Christianson and Robinson Fabian). In 2008, he pitched for the Fort Wayne Wizards (29 G) and Lake Elsinore Storm (1 G), going a combined 10-5 with a 3.34 ERA in 30 games (25 starts), striking out 150 batters in 145 1/3 innings. He tied for 8th in the Midwest League in victories and was third in strikeouts (after David Bromberg and Jeremy McBryde). His .226 opponent average was lowest in the Padres minors. He was named the Padres Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

He pitched for the Storm and Portland Beavers in 2009, going 14-9 with a 4.10 ERA in 28 starts (27 games for Lake Elsinore, one for Portland). He was third in the California League in wins (behind Donald Hume and Craig Clark), tied Wynn Pelzer for 5th in innings (150 2/3) and was 4th with 142 strikeouts (behind Josh Collmenter, Pelzer and Pat McAnaney). With the San Antonio Missions in 2010, he went 11-8 with a 2.95 ERA in 28 starts. He led the Texas League in innings pitched (167 2/3), was second in WHIP (1.24, trailing Simon Castro), ranked third in ERA (after Douglas Arguello and Castro) and was 4th in strikeouts (behind Corey Kluber, Cory Riordan and Anthony Capra). He made the TL All-Star team, joining Arguello, Blake Beavan, David Kopp, Jordan Lyles, Castro and Ryan Tatusko as the selected pitchers.

In 2011, he was again in AAA, with the Padres' new affiliate, the Tucson Padres, where his record was 9-7 with a 4.98 ERA in 28 starts. He tied Shane Loux for 8th in the 2011 Pacific Coast League with 101 runs allowed, tied for 10th with 61 walks and tied for 6th with 120 strikeouts (the same number as Adam Ottavino, Will Inman and Travis Banwart).

The Padres placed Hefner on waivers after the 2011 season, and he was claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates on November 18th; however his stay with the Bucs was short-lived, as he was designated for assignment when they signed free agent pitcher Erik Bedard a few weeks later. That is how he ended up in the Mets' organization, who had twice drafted him without convincing him to sign. The move turned out to be very good for Jeremy. He made 3 starts with the AAA Buffalo Bisons at the start of the year, pitching well (2-1, 1.96), and was called up to New York as part of the new 24-hour taxi squad for doubleheaders. He made his major league debut on April 23rd, pitching three scoreless innings of relief in a 6-1 loss in the first half of the twin bill with the San Francisco Giants. He earned his first major league victory in a 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on May 29th, on a day on which he also collected his first major league hit, a homer off Joe Blanton. It had been 10 years since another pitcher, Dennis Tankersley, had gotten both their first homer and first win on the same day. Tankersley never won another game or hit another home run, though.

After his playing career ended, Hefner joined the Minnesota Twins organization in 2017 and worked as their advance scout for two years. In 2019 he was named the Twins' assistant pitching coach (bullpen coach) under newly appointed manager Rocco Baldelli, but stayed only one year. In 2020, he joined the New York Mets as their pitching coach and remained in that role through the 2023 season.


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