Hoover Looking For More In Second Year Back

CHARLESTON, SC - On a team filled with teenagers and early twenty-somethings like the Riverdogs, the rare veteran player can prove to be a very important staple in the clubhouse. Relief pitcher Jesse Hoover is in his second stint with the Riverdogs after recovering from a back injury that kept him out of the game for two years.

Jesse Hoover was drafted in the fifth round of the 2004 MLB Draft and pitched that season in Staten Island, compiling a 2-1 record with ninety strikeouts in just over fifty five innings and a 1.78 ERA.

That year, Hoover's fastball was electric, routinely being in the mid-nineties. He has fought back from the injury with a somewhat solid 2007 season and a new revitalized attitude now in 2008.

Rather than being promoted this year to Tampa, the Yankees instead chose to keep him in Charleston to polish his game before advancing him to the next level. Hoover knows the Yankee organization is packed with talent and must battle for his spot on the organizational ladder.

"This organization has a lot of young pitching talent and there's only so many spots on a roster, and I think they wanted to see me prove I can do some stuff here before sending me up another level," said Hoover.

He has made it his goal to constantly improve on last year and get all his pitches working for him this season. Riverdogs Pitching Coach Jeff Ware knows Hoover has room for improvement and must find his consistency and trust his body to stay healthy.

Hoover had some problems keeping his pitches down in the zone last year and Ware is convinced that Hoover has found his groove with his new mechanics, and his fastball and secondary pitches are very finely tuned. His velocity has dipped since his injury, but he has been able to turn to his offspeed repertoire to be successful.

"We've worked tons and tons on his mechanics with him and he's done an outstanding job," said Ware. "If your mechanics are sound, you're going to stay away from injury and your velocity is going to be maximized, and he's working hard on his mechanics so he can maximize his velocity."

Hoover himself feels his mechanics have become more refined and he is now able to successfully replicate his delivery, and with that confidence, he can locate and trust his fastball.

"Mechanically I feel better than last year," Hoover admitted. "Repeating my delivery was the biggest issue last year and this year I feel I've been able to do that a lot better."

In regards to his fastball, Hoover feels a well-located pitch is more useful than an unruly heater.

"I feel like I can locate it a little better, you'd rather be throwing ninety on the corner than ninety-three down the middle."

His secondary pitches have come to the forefront as his fastball velocity dropped after the injury and he feels more confident throwing them for strikes. Hoover has always been able to rely on a good curveball and Coach Ware is convinced Hoover has a changeup that he will soon be able to depend on.

"He's always had a great curveball, but he's throwing his changeup a lot more this year," said Ware. "He's got a lot of good movement with it and I think if he can start bringing it into the game, he's really going to have some success."

Hoover knows his changeup is a work in progress, but he is certain he can locate it and make it work for him this year after not using it much last season.

"I only threw a few last year but I've been able to throw it down in the zone and that's a pitch where if you can get it on the corner it's going to help you out a lot," said Hoover.

He had a rough outing in Asheville on May 7th, throwing just over one inning while allowing four earned runs on five hits and two walks. It's a position in which he tips his cap to a talented Asheville team, as well as knowing he didn't have his best stuff that night.

"They're a good hitting team for one, but there were times where I was behind in the count and they could just sit on a fastball and they made me pay," he said. "You can do that a couple times a game and get away with it, but I just put it in one inning."

Hoover came roaring back his next outing in that same series against Asheville, striking out five in three innings of two-hit ball.

His plans for his second year in Charleston to revolve around keeping his pitches down in the zone and cut down on his walks, something he has always found important for success in his eyes throughout his career.

"I've always needed to cut my walks down, and that's the biggest goal numbers-wise, to keep those walks down and if I can throw my changeup for a strike as well as what I've been doing with my curveball, I think its going to help me out a lot."

Coach Ware is going to continue pushing Hoover to keep his pitches down in the zone and is certain that if he can locate his fastball and work his offspeed pitches in there, he will have a prosperous year.

"A lot of guys who have thrown hard in the past can get away with throwing balls letter high, but once you're in a ninety, ninety-two range, you've got to be able to locate a little bit," said Ware. "From his standpoint he's got to be able to locate down in the zone a little bit more and if he can do that, with the other secondary pitches he has, he's going to have a lot of success."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nJesse Hoover was drafted in the fifth round of the 2004 MLB Draft and pitched that season in Staten Island, compiling a 2-1 record with ninety strikeouts in just over fifty five innings and a 1.78 ERA.
\r\n
\r\nThat year, Hoover's fastball was electric, routinely being in the mid-nineties. He has fought back from the injury with a somewhat solid 2007 season and a new revitalized attitude now in 2008.
\r\n
\r\nRather than being promoted this year to Tampa, the Yankees instead chose to keep him in Charleston to polish his game before advancing him to the next level. Hoover knows the Yankee organization is packed with talent and must battle for his spot on the organizational ladder.
\r\n
\r\n\"This organization has a lot of young pitching talent and there's only so many spots on a roster, and I think they wanted to see me prove I can do some stuff here before sending me up another level,\" said Hoover.
\r\n
\r\nHe has made it his goal to constantly improve on last year and get all his pitches working for him this season. Riverdogs Pitching Coach Jeff Ware knows Hoover has room for improvement and must find his consistency and trust his body to stay healthy.
\r\n
\r\nHoover had some problems keeping his pitches down in the zone last year and Ware is convinced that Hoover has found his groove with his new mechanics, and his fastball and secondary pitches are very finely tuned. His velocity has dipped since his injury, but he has been able to turn to his offspeed repertoire to be successful.
\r\n
\r\n\"We've worked tons and tons on his mechanics with him and he's done an outstanding job,\" said Ware. \"If your mechanics are sound, you're going to stay away from injury and your velocity is going to be maximized, and he's working hard on his mechanics so he can maximize his velocity.\"
\r\n
\r\nHoover himself feels his mechanics have become more refined and he is now able to successfully replicate his delivery, and with that confidence, he can locate and trust his fastball.
\r\n
\r\n\"Mechanically I feel better than last year,\" Hoover admitted. \"Repeating my delivery was the biggest issue last year and this year I feel I've been able to do that a lot better.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn regards to his fastball, Hoover feels a well-located pitch is more useful than an unruly heater.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel like I can locate it a little better, you'd rather be throwing ninety on the corner than ninety-three down the middle.\"
\r\n
\r\nHis secondary pitches have come to the forefront as his fastball velocity dropped after the injury and he feels more confident throwing them for strikes. Hoover has always been able to rely on a good curveball and Coach Ware is convinced Hoover has a changeup that he will soon be able to depend on.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's always had a great curveball, but he's throwing his changeup a lot more this year,\" said Ware. \"He's got a lot of good movement with it and I think if he can start bringing it into the game, he's really going to have some success.\"
\r\n
\r\nHoover knows his changeup is a work in progress, but he is certain he can locate it and make it work for him this year after not using it much last season.
\r\n
\r\n\"I only threw a few last year but I've been able to throw it down in the zone and that's a pitch where if you can get it on the corner it's going to help you out a lot,\" said Hoover.
\r\n
\r\nHe had a rough outing in Asheville on May 7th, throwing just over one inning while allowing four earned runs on five hits and two walks. It's a position in which he tips his cap to a talented Asheville team, as well as knowing he didn't have his best stuff that night.
\r\n
\r\n\"They're a good hitting team for one, but there were times where I was behind in the count and they could just sit on a fastball and they made me pay,\" he said. \"You can do that a couple times a game and get away with it, but I just put it in one inning.\"
\r\n
\r\nHoover came roaring back his next outing in that same series against Asheville, striking out five in three innings of two-hit ball.
\r\n
\r\nHis plans for his second year in Charleston to revolve around keeping his pitches down in the zone and cut down on his walks, something he has always found important for success in his eyes throughout his career.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've always needed to cut my walks down, and that's the biggest goal numbers-wise, to keep those walks down and if I can throw my changeup for a strike as well as what I've been doing with my curveball, I think its going to help me out a lot.\"
\r\n
\r\nCoach Ware is going to continue pushing Hoover to keep his pitches down in the zone and is certain that if he can locate his fastball and work his offspeed pitches in there, he will have a prosperous year.
\r\n
\r\n\"A lot of guys who have thrown hard in the past can get away with throwing balls letter high, but once you're in a ninety, ninety-two range, you've got to be able to locate a little bit,\" said Ware. \"From his standpoint he's got to be able to locate down in the zone a little bit more and if he can do that, with the other secondary pitches he has, he's going to have a lot of success.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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