Hoes Gets Glowing Reports For Orioles

BALTIMORE—When the Orioles expand their roster in September, they will give serious consideration to adding outfielder L.J. Hoes from Triple-A Norfolk and introducing him to major league competition.

They already kicked around the idea of promoting him in August, but the benefits of playing him every day in Norfolk outweighed the temptation to put him in a platoon with Nate McLouth.

Hoes, a third-round pick in 2008 out of St. John's High in Washington, was hitting .324/.397/.422 in 275 at-bats with the Tides. Each game seemed to bring another positive report from Norfolk manager Ron Johnson, who speaks almost daily with Orioles manager Buck Showalter.

"He's done well there," Showalter said, "but to me, it's more about reading Ronnie's narrative every day than the statistics. He's doing well. I'd say he hasn't put himself on the map—he's continued to be on the map."

Drafted as a second baseman, Hoes returned to the outfield—his position in high school—in 2011. He probably wasn't thrilled to return to Double-A Bowie to open this season. He batted .265/.368/.372 in 196 at-bats, and the Orioles eventually made room for him at Norfolk and reunited him with outfielder Xavier Avery, taken one round ahead of Hoes in 2008.

Hoes' progression is all the more impressive considering that he's the fourth-youngest player in the International League at 22.

"The plan was for him to start in Double-A and if he presented himself well to move to Norfolk, and that's exactly what has happened," Showalter said. "I love the way that his at-bats are being described, and just as important how he's playing left field."

Unless the Orioles suddenly shift in another direction, they're expected to name Hoes their minor league player of the year. They don't need to kick around that idea for very long.


• The Orioles designated reliever Miguel Socolovich for assignment to make room for veteran lefthander J.C. Romero on the 40-man roster.

• Low Class A Delmarva first baseman Nicky Delmonico had arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his knee, though he could participate in instructional league workouts. Delmonico hit .249/.351/.411 with 11 homers and 54 RBIs in 338 at-bats for the Shorebirds this year.