Hoffpauir happy with transition to Toronto organization

Published 1:09 am Monday, May 24, 2010

LAS VEGAS — Going from the St. Louis Cardinals organization to the Toronto Blue Jays organization hasn’t been too difficult on Vidalia native Jarrett Hoffpauir.

In fact, he said it’s a transition that he’s happy to have made.

“Everything’s going well. I like the organization and I’m enjoying my time so far,” Hoffpauir said.

“There’s a better opportunity here than with the Cardinals to compete for that infield spot on the (big league) team, so we’ll see what happens. I’ve played shortstop, third base and second base, and I came into the spring looking to prove I could play all three positions. Hopefully it’ll help out in the long run.”

Hoffpauir, who is currently playing for the Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s, said there isn’t a whole lot of difference between how things are done in both organizations.

“It’s kind of the same thing. You go into spring training and kind of go about your business the same way. It’s still just about what they need and what opportunities are available,” Hoffpauir said.

One thing that helps is both the 51s and the Memphis Redbirds, which Hoffpauir played for last year, are in the Pacific Coast League.

“I think that helps, as far as comfort. I’ve been in this league for three and a half years, so I know what to expect everywhere I go. There aren’t any new atmospheres or anything I can,” Hoffpauir said.

The 51s are off to a slow start, however. As of Saturday, Las Vegas had an 18-25 record, and was 10.5 games out of first place in the Pacific South division of the PCL.

“It’s one of those things where, when we’re pitching, we’re not hitting, and when we’re hitting, we’re not pitching,” Hoffpauir said.

“We’re not really on track, but hopefully we’ll get it together soon. I don’t think we’re playing badly as a team, and we’re losing a lot of close games, so that’s hurt us too.”

Through 40 games with the 51s, Hoffpauir leads the team in batting average at .342. A laid-back attitude is what’s allowed him to do so well, he said.

“I’m just not putting pressure on myself. I go out, have fun and play the game. That’s something I’ve done my whole life, because once you start putting pressure on yourself and not having fun, that’s when things go downhill,” Hoffpauir said.

And that’s why he’s not too worried about whether or not the Blue Jays will call him up in the near future, he said.

“That’s something that’s out of my control. I don’t really know, as far as their decision-making is concerned. All I can do is take care of my business here,” Hoffpauir said.

“If it works out, great. If not, I can still have fun playing down here as well.”