Hoes' Power Potential Coming To Fruition For Orioles
BALTIMORE—Of all the players in the Orioles system to go on a power binge, L.J. Hoes seemed like one of the unlikeliest candidates.
Hoes, 21, didn't hit a home run in his first 54 games with Double-A Bowie, then he batted .455 with six homers and 15 RBIs in a span of 10 games. The Orioles named him their minor league player of the month for July after he batted .349/.412/.519 with four homers, 21 RBIs and a .931 OPS in 29 games. He's more than living up to his status as a third-round pick in the 2008 draft.
Hoes never hit more than four home runs in his first three pro seasons after the Orioles drafted him out of St. John's High in Washington, D.C. Bowie manager Gary Kendall and hitting coach Denny Hocking talked about finding ways to unlock Hoes' power potential.
"He picked up some things quickly and the results are all there on the stat sheet," Hocking said.
Hoes hit .234/.291/.329 with three homers and 17 RBIs in 158 at-bats with high Class A Frederick. After being promoted to Bowie, he hit .317/.388/.432 with six homers and 44 RBIs in his first 259 at-bats.
The 6-foot-1, 181-pound Hoes was drafted as a second baseman, and that's where he spent most of his time with Frederick this season, but he has mostly been used in the outfield at Bowie.
Farm director John Stockstill said Hoes still projects as a second baseman, but the organization wanted to challenge him at the plate by promoting him to the Eastern League. Greg Miclat is Bowie's regular season baseman.
"If we were just going for defense, (Hoes) would have stayed a level lower," Stockstill said. "We felt he needed to be challenged with his at-bats, but we don't have a full-time second base position for him. He's also been an outfielder by nature, so he does a good job there. And he can play third and short. But we're not moving him off second."
• Frederick first baseman Tyler Townsend remained on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, an issue that has plagued him since he was a third-round pick in 2009 out of Florida International. Townsend was batting .318/.355/.588 with 23 doubles, two triples, 13 homers and 50 RBIs in 245 at-bats.
• Miclat set a Bowie record with four stolen bases in the same game. Miclat was 47 for 49, leaving him 12 steals shy of the Baysox single-season record.