I’ve seen L.J. Hoes play a number of times over the past few seasons and I’ve come away impressed each and every time. He’s come a long way since the day he was drafted; specifically making drastic improvements to his approach at the plate. He’s now one of the more disciplined hitters in the system.
The main concerns with Hoes are defense and whether or not he’ll become an average defender at second. His defense has come a long way and I believe he’s athletic enough to improve further. If he becomes a solid .380+ OBP guy he doesn’t need a whole lot of power to make him a valuable player, especially at second base.
He’s able to get decent bat speed without a super long swing or a gimmicky action that would subtract from other areas of his swing, which says a lot about what is body is capable of. Despite getting to his front leg too soon, he’s shown the ability to still let the ball get deep and post a very good walk rate at the High-A level. Hoes still needs some work and has a long way to go, but his solid underlying fundamentals and athleticism do bode well for what the future could hold for him.
Hoes was slighted significantly when Greg Miclat was named Bowie’s starting second baseman. Back at Frederick for 2011, look for Hoes to show off his superb on-base skills and earn an early promotion to Bowie.