Results tagged ‘ L.J. Hoes ’
Can he be a regular? A star?
I think L.J. Hoes should be a least a second-division level regular, even if he doesn’t improve a bit. If he improves a little, he’s should be a solid regular. If he improves a lot, specifically by increasing his power, he’s got a chance to be a minor star, a .290 hitter with around 20 home runs.
For more of my thoughts on L.J. Hoes, see here.
Can we expect him to perform in 2013 the way he did for the Orioles in 2012?
Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see. Normally, I would assume that a good one-half season was the fluke compared to 2 1/2 bad seasons, but there are some mitigating factors. McLouth had been injured off-and-on over 2010 and 2011. In 2012, he signed with the Pirates but didn’t really get a chance to play before getting released. The Orioles signed him and sent him to Norfolk, where he did get a chance to play regularly and shed the rust. He gradually got more effective and was recalled to Baltimore, where he played quite well over the last two months. It’s possible that he’s recovered fully and will continue to be effective. I think it’s more likely that 2012 was a “last hurrah”, and will regress to his 2010-2011 form.
The Orioles signed him to a 1-year, $2 million contract. Was that a good move
Sure. The contract is cheap and carries no long-term liabilities. McLouth played very well in the playoffs. His contract is a reward for good service — which can’t help but be a positive to the other Orioles — and if McLouth really doesn’t play wel, there’s no reason not to cut him loose and move on. If the Orioles had a left-field prospect ready to go, then signing McLouth would run the risk of derailing him; but L.J. Hoes could use some more AAA time.
I have been very fortunate. Three of the last four Tides games I’ve seen and worked have been very well-played games, the third being last night’s game against Toledo. Specifically, from the second batter forward the defense for both teams was very good. The fielding was all the more impressive because the game was played with a vigorous wind blowing from left field to right field. Right fielder L.J. Hoes battled the wind to make several nice catches.
Tides’ starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez made three nice plays in the first two innings. Ben Guez hit a ground ball fielded by the first baseman and Gonzalez alertly got to first base to receive the throw and put out Guez. Rob Brantly hit a twisting squibber down the first-base line; Gonzalez hustled to the ball and threw Brantly out at first. And Audy Ciriaco hit a sharp ground ball up the middle which Gonzalez speared and threw to first.
Miguel Tejada showed good range to his left, ranging in front of shortstop and firing a strong throw. Caleb Joseph threw out a runner trying to steal. There were only two bad defensive plays, and they led to the Mud Hens’ runs. Chris Robinson at first base misjudged a foul popup and let it drop behind him, about three feet from first base; given another chance, Jerad Head doubled in the first run. And Head scored on a single when L.J. Hoes’ throw to the plate was well up the third-base line.
Ironically, in the immediately-preceding game at Buffalo, the Tides committed six errors. I’m thinking that that game was the aberration.
Because of injuries, extra-inning games, and roster rules, the Baltimore Orioles left the Tides shorthanded as the Tides moved on from Louisville to Indianapolis. So, the Tides had three new players in their lineup in Sunday’s game. Those three players — infielders Bobby Stevens and Ty Kelly, and pitcher Rick Zagone — were promoted not from AA Bowie, but from High-Class-A Frederick. Why would the Orioles promote players from High-A to AAA, instead of from AA?
There are several possible reasons. A couple of those reasons relate to the Bowie team itself. Three of the Orioles’ top prospects — Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, and L.J. Hoes — are playing in Bowie. Those three players aren’t ready for AAA, and the Orioles probably didn’t want to strip Bowie of the rest of their players. Second, Bowie itself was hit by the roster rules. The Orioles designated Bowie infielder Zelous Wheeler for assignment, removing him from the 40-man roster but making him ineligible to play for Bowie. Since they were already short of infielders, it would be pointless to strip Bowie of infielders and have them be shorthanded.
Some of the reasons may be geographic. Frederick was at home, while Bowie was on the road at Richmond. It’s easier to get from Frederick to Indianapolis than Richmond. It’s about an hour’s drive from Frederick to Dulles airport, from which there is probably a direct flight to Indianapolis. There are fewer, if any, direct flights from Richmond to Indianapolis; the nearest hub to Indianapolis is Cincinnati, a 90-minute drive; if there are no flights from Richmond to Cincinnati then they’d have to fly to Chicago, a 3-hour drive. If you need to get players to Indianapolis in a hurry, it’s easier to do so from Frederick (Washington, DC) than Richmond.
Finally, the different league structures and competitiveness concerns may have influence their decision. The Carolina League in which Frederick plays uses a split-season format in which first-half and second-half champions qualify for the playoffs. Frederick is in last place in its division with virtually no chance of winning the first half; taking players from them doesn’t affect their post-season chances. Bowie’s Eastern League doesn’t use a split-season format; the top two teams in each division qualify for the playoffs. So, Bowie has to be competitive all season to make the playoffs. Playing short-handed for even a short period of time may eliminate Bowie from contention — and with Machado, Schoop, and Hoes at Bowie, it’s important to have Bowie play as many meaningful games as possible.
As it happened, the new guys from Frederick – especially Rick Zagone — did well enough to give the Tides a 2-0 win on Saturday.
In a previous post, I discussed the six players who played in 100 or more games with the Bowie Baysox in 2011. In setting a limit of 100 games, I overlooked a few other players who played quite a bit at Bowie and who didn’t get promoted to the Tides. These include:
- L.J. Hoes, outfielder (95 games). L.J. Hoes appears to be the best Orioles’ prospect likely to make it to Norfolk in 2012. He’ll play 2012 at age 22. He’s also another semi-local player, drafted in 2008 out of St. John’s High School in Washington, DC. Originally a second baseman, he was moved to the outfield in 2011. Interestingly, he started 2011 in Frederick and was hitting .241/.297/.342 when he was promoted to Bowie; in Bowie he hit much better — .305/.379/.413. Baseball America ranks Hoes as the #5 prospect in the Orioles system, behind four players who project to play at A-ball or lower in 2012. The problem with Hoes, as I see it, is that all of his value is in his batting average — he doesn’t have great power and he makes contact so often he doesn’t draw a lot of walks. He’s kind of like Brandon Snyder in the sense that Harbor Park isn’t kind to a player with his skill set. I expect Hoes to start 2012 at Bowie and maybe get to Norfolk in mid-season.
- Joe Mahoney, first baseman (85 games). Joe Mahoney is a left-handed power hitter, who doesn’t strike out a lot but also doesn’t walk a lot and hits for a pretty decent average. His offensive game is similar to, but clearly not nearly as good as, Aramis Ramirez’. Mahoney would be a good fit for Harbor Park, and is clearly ready (he turned 25 in the offseason.) There’s no obvious first-base candidate for Norfolk ahead of Mahoney, so I expect him to be at Norfolk on Opening Day. His big problem has been an inability to stay on the field — he played 95 games in 2008 and the 85 games in 2011; so he’s behind the ideal timetable.
- Buck Britton, utilityman (82 games). Buck Britton made a desperation end-of-season cameo appearance with the 2010 Tides, and spent 2011 at Bowie and Frederick. He’ll turn 26 in May. He may make the Tides as a bench player, but he’s not someone to get excited about.