He’s paid his dues for a little over a year now down at Norfolk batting a consistent .300 last year and .304 this year before finally getting the call to the show. Yes, I’m well aware he got something of a token callup last September where he amassed a grand total of one major league at bat. This time, Jerome O’Bryan Hoes will be joining the team to actually play and potentially contribute. He had nothing left to prove in the minors. Welcome to the show!
DOB: 1/06/90 – 23 years old
Height: 6’1″ Weight: 190
Birthplace: Bowie, MD
High School: St. John’s Prep (Washington D.C.)
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2008
Year By Year Prospect Rankings (According to Me)
2013 Rank: 5; 2012 Rank: 6;
2011 Rank: 3; 2010 Rank: 17
2009 Short Season Rank: 1
(The following in quotation marks was taken from my preseason prospect profile on Hoes)
“L.J. Hoes, another local-ish kid, comes in at #5. Along with [Xavier] Avery, Hoes is another veteran of this list. Despite being drafted a round later than X in 2008, I liked LJ a tad better as a prospect, naming him the No. 1 Short Season prospect going into 2009 with Avery right behind him at No. 2. Looks like I got that one right as 4 years later, the consensus considers him a better prospect than Avery and I have Hoes 5 spots ahead him now. What does that mean? Trust your instinct. Back in 2008, I remember older bro Harry telling me about Hoes earlier that year when Loyola baseball played against St. Johns in D.C. He said that kid is a stud and had a full ride to UNC and I was like, “oh, that’s cool I guess”, than a few months later he goes in 3rd Round to the O’s. LJ has always been a favorite of mine and I think he has a promising MLB career ahead of him even with his power and defensive limitations.
Scouting Report: (Grade C = Below Average, Grade B = Average, Grade A = Above Average, by MLB standards)
- Hit Tool: A- Shows great feel for making contact. Sprays the ball to all fields. Ceiling of a .270 – .290 hitter in the bigs
- Strike Zone Discipline: A- Strong disciplined approach. Doesn’t wiff much. Draws a good amount of walks. My kinda guy
- Power: [B- Solid] gap power at best. Swing not designed to generate much power to begin with. Could improve w/ time to league average (8-15 HR’s)
- Speed: B More quick than fast. Sound base runner with decent instincts. Capable of swiping 10-15 bags in the bigs
- Defense: B [Best suited for] left. Can play CF [or RF if needed but average at best defender at those positions]
- Arm: A- Strongest outfield arm according to Baseball America
Projected Role: Starting LF/ Platoon Bat
(Grade C = AAA filler, C+ = AAA Depth w/ chance to be late bloomer, B- = Backup MLB player, B = Bench player, can start out of necessity, B+ Platoon/Part Time Regular, A- Solid average starter, A = Above Average/Borderline All Star, A+ All star/Elite)”
Why He’s Here
The short and sweet answer? The bench is short a player. After optioning Danny Valencia back to Norfolk to make room for Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez, the Orioles have been carrying a three man bench consisting of Ryan Flaherty, Alexi Casilla, and Taylor Teagarden. Buck likes carrying extra relievers from time to time to keep his main bullpen guys fresh. Jairo Asencio has been the extra man in the pen lately and hasn’t seen much work. It’s his time head back down now as the void on the bench for another right handed bat will be filled by the L.J. Hoes addition.
Another factor into the timing of L.J. Hoes callup – and this is pure speculation on my part – could be a chance to market Hoes over the next couple days in front of major league scouts. With the July 31 trade deadline quickly approaching, Hoes could be a possible player involved in a deal for amother bat or starting pitcher should the Orioles decide to make another trade.
What To Expect
Initially, I’m expecting to see L.J. Hoes deployed as the DH against left handed pitching. His ability to play all three outfield positions could also lead to starts in LF, CF, and RF against left handed pitching with McLouth, Markakis, or Jones serving as the DH instead. With Henry Urrutia getting consistent at bats as the DH against right handed pitching, it will be tough to fit L.J. In the lineup consistently. However, I think he will take to the platoon/outfield backup role well. I’m expecting L.J. be an on base machine (.340 to .360) and bat somewhere between .260 and .280 in his part time role.
Prediction On Debut
Assuming he’s in the lineup against lefty Jon Lester today…I’ll say he goes 1-3 with a BB and an RBI double for his first MLB hit.