Jan 4, 2020

Jeremy Hefner: 2020 Mets Pitching Coach & Former Pitcher (2012 - 2014)

Jeremy Scott Hefner was born on March 11, 1986 in Perkins, Oklahoma. The six foot four right hander attended Oral Roberts University & Seminole State Colleges.

Hefner was drafted twice by the New York Mets in both 2004 & 2005, way down near the 50th rounds, but he did not sign neither time. 

In 2007 he was a fifth round pick of the San Diego Padres.

He put up double figures in wins his first three minor league seasons, with impressive strike out totals to match. 

In 2011 he made it to AAA with Tucson, where he went 9-7 and a high 4.98 ERA. In the winter he was placed on waivers & was picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates. A month later he was placed on waivers again & was picked by the New York Mets. 

Mets Career: Hefner began 2012 with the AAA Buffalo Bison, but was called up at the end of April replacing an injured Ronny Cedeno on the club.

On April 23rd, he made his MLB debut pitching in relief of Miguel Batista in a 6-1 loss at Citi Field, to the San Francisco Giants. He was sent back to AAA Buffalo, returning a month later to pitch in relief at Toronto, where he earned a loss to the Blue Jays.

After losing to the San Diego Padres in his next start, he took the mound at Citi Field on May 29th, pitching against the Philadelphia Phillies. Hefner got his first start, pitched six innings, allowing three runs, earning his first career win.

Hefner was back and forth to Buffalo where he was 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA on the season. By the end of August he was seeing more time as a starting pitcher with the Mets. He was 2-6 by late September & then won his last two starts of the year, beating Pittsburgh & Miami.

He went seven innings or more both times, with an impressive three hit, shut out in seven innings on September 26th over the Pirates. That was the same night David Wright broke the Mets all time club hits record. On the year Hefner was 4-7 with a 5.09 ERA, 62 strike outs & 18 walks in 26 appearances (93 innings).

In 2013 he made Terry Collins pitching staff but had a rough start. On April 5th he pitched well, allowing one run in five innings to the Miami Marlins but got the loss. Next the Phillies bashed him for five runs in three innings at Philadelphia, as he went 0-2. In his first four starts he served up seven HRs & 11 runs as his ERA was over seven.

On May 29th he was 0-5 but earned his first win, coming in the subway series sweep against the A.L. New York team. The Mets gave him a five run lead in the 1st inning, with RBI hits from Daniel Murphy, John Buck & Ike Davis.

 On June 11th he took a loss to the Cardinals but then pitched well in his next six starts. On June 21st he struck out six Phillies taking a 4-3 victory over Cole Hamels who fell to 2-11.

On July 2nd, Hefner allowed just one run in seven innings, striking out six to beat Arizona 9-1 at Citi Field. On July 7th, he won a close 2-1 game over the Brewers in Milwaukee, allowing just one run in seven innings.

By now, Hefner was on a stretch where he was having one of the best months of any pitcher in the league. After a no decision in Pittsburgh, where he pitched well again, he came back to have two very rough starts at the end of July.

On July 19th, the Phillies bashed him for eight runs & ten hits over two innings. The Mets were down 11-0 but fought back to make it a bit closer losing 13-8.

On July 24th, Hefner got to the 5th inning. but the Atlanta Braves hit him for six runs on six hits , including three HRs. Hefner had allowed HRs in five straight games up to that point.

On July 29th he allowed five runs to the Marlins in Miami but no decision as the Mets came up with a 6-5 win. He made two starts in August taking no decisions then was sent down to AAA Las Vegas. He ended up needing Tommy John surgery which shut down his season.

He finished up at 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA. He struck out 99 batters & walked 37, allowing 20 HRs in 130 innings in 24 games.

He was let go to free agency in December but was resigned by the Mets in January 2014. He began to toss lightly at the start of Spring Training 2014 & pitched just six games between A ball St. Lucie & the Gulf Coast Mets. 

In October 2014 he announced he needed a second Tommy John surgery. In November he was granted free agency & his Mets pitching career ended.

He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals & spent two years in their organization, retiring as a player in 2017. In a two year career he was 8-15 with a 4.65 ERA, making 50 appearances.

Coaching Career: He began as an advanced scout from 2017-2018 in the Minnesota Twins organization. He was named the Twins assistant pitching coach in 2019.  His Twins staff was third in wins (101) & first in saves (50) in the AL. But they also were 2nd in HRs (198) & third in walks (452). 

In December of 2019 he was named the 2020 Mets pitching coach under new manager, Carlos Beltran. He replaces 82 year old legend, Phil Regan. Hefener is just 33 years old & not much older than the guys on his staff.

Trivia: Hefner is originally from Moore, Oklahoma where a 2013 Tornado killed 24 people. He teamed up with Foleys Pub in Manhattan, where a 405 Burger, was named after the towns area code. 

Proceeds went to the relief effort. The first ten years of my life, I grew up in Moore, where the tornadoes hit,” Hefner said. “It's very close to my heart, and I'm trying to do everything possible to help them out.”

Family: Hefner's wife Sarah is a personal trainer & they have two children.

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