Top 20 Oriole Prospects – No. 18 – L.J. Hoes
I have to admit that Hoes is one of my favorite prospects in the organization, and that’s why I put him a little too high. He was selected 5th overall in the 3rd round of last years draft, which really started to show where our organization was going, young and athletic. He can play almost every position on the field, but the organization will try to groom him as a second baseman. Even though they are trying to develop him at second base, I would not be surprised if they eventually move him to third, or even shortstop with his speed, quickness, and good arm strength.
If you look at Hoes you wouldn’t think he as much power, but at times he does have a pop to his bat. To add with his decent plate production, Hoes has decent speed to round the bases. He doesn’t have Kyle Hudson speed, but he will get his fair share of stolen bases. I watched him play twice at St. John’s Prep in Washington, D.C and you could tell he was a star in the making. The first game I went to he pitched, and had a very solid arm. The second game he played in the field and showed good instincts tracking the ball down. At the plate, he hit a triple off of the outfield wall. He wasn’t quick out the box, but once he got going around the bases his speed picks up.
Hoes reminds me a lot of Brian Roberts. Both of them are good at everything, consistent, and clutch. In about four years, I believe Hoes will ride the Orioles bench to learn under Roberts, and take over the throne at second base once he retires. I really enjoy his game, and knew he was going to be a steal when we selected him last year. He already has good hitting mechanics, and fielding skills. For somebody so young, and not drafted in the first round, all he needs to do is polish his game. The scouts were impressed with him his senior year in high school, with how mature he was at the plate, and his solid follow through. I’m sure he will clime the prospect list and the minors faster than anybody will expect.