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Interview With The Agent: Jason Hoffman

Jason Hoffman is a MLBPA Certified Agent who has joined Agency1 as their newest agent. He has 17 years of experience beginning in 2004, after being released by the St. Louis Cardinals. He began his career as a sports agent with a firm in the San Francisco Bay area, formerly known as Sosnick Cobbe Sports. Hoffman is a graduate from William Penn University in Iowa where he graduated with a communications degree. Hoffman was drafted twice by the Montreal Expos (once out of high school in 1996 by the same scout that drafted Tom Brady out of high school three rounds earlier in 1995). Hoffman decided to pursue a career as a sports agent after being released when his mom handed him a Sports Illustrated magazine with an article in it about Lebron James and his agent, Aaron Goodwin. When he read the article, he thought he looked like Mr. Goodwin and saw that he was from Oakland, California as well. This gave Hoffman hope that maybe he could do it too.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Jason Hoffman and discuss his journey in becoming a sports agent, how he maintains relationships with his clients and the future in his industry.

What would your younger self think about where you are today? 

My younger self would be proud of where I am today. Not just with the fact that I made it this long in the business, where there are only roughly 420 MLBPA Certified Agents in any given year, but at the positive impact that I hopefully have had on so many of the guys I’ve represented.

David Hernandez and Jason Hoffman after a Post Season win in 2017 with the Diamondbacks

How do you ensure you maintain meaningful relationships with your clients? 

I’m honest with them. I tell them what they need to hear, not necessarily what they want to hear, and sometimes it’s tough love. I do that by building a genuine report with them from day one, regardless of if their stats are good or bad, whether they’re injured or playing. They know they’re not just their “statistics” to me; they’re human and I treat them with care and respect.

What is one thing about being an agent that someone outside of the industry might not know? 

That being an agent isn’t a job, it is a lifestyle. And once the sexiness of it wears off, it’s a cutthroat grind; similar to being a professional athlete, minus the physical toll.

Kenny Maiques and his wife and Jason Hoffman at their wedding

Who was your first client and how was the process of signing them? 

My first client was Kenny Maiques, a pitcher who transferred from Long Beach St. to Rio Hondo JC in Whittier, CA. Baseball America called him, “the most dominant junior college pitcher in the country” before the 2005 Draft. He was slated to be drafted in the top 3 rounds but blew out his elbow just weeks before, causing him to drop to the 37th round. He went on to be ranked as high as the Cardinals #15 Prospect but arm injuries forced him to retire.

The recruiting process was great. I drove from the Bay Area in my little two-door Mitsubishi Eclipse that I owned at the time, all the way down to Whittier (right outside Los Angeles) to watch him pitch in a fall ball game. After watching about 5 pitches I looked at his dad and said, “Jerry, that pitch sequence that he just threw will get big league hitters out tonight at Dodger Stadium.” He looked at me like I was crazy…but  invited me back to their house to talk and the rest was history. 

David Hernandez and his wife and Jason Hoffman at David’s recent retirement party after 10 years in the big leagues, rare accomplishment!

Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?  

In 5 to 10 years I see myself at Agency1 with a lot of big league clients and a crop of exciting minor leaguers and amateurs that I’m advising in the MLB Draft. 

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Follow Jason Hoffman on Instagram: @mlb_agentjason

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