09 May 2010

Beneath the Surface: Frederick Keys Update

I think the big story here in Frederick is LJ Hoes. After being drafted in the third round of the 2008 draft, Hoes made quite a statement in the GCL with a slash of 308/416/390. As an 18yo, the lack of power was forgiven with the contact rate and walk rate taken notice. Hoes was also being introduced to second base. Keith Law mentioned Hoes as a favorite to break into his top 100 prospect list in 2009. We saw him as the 10th best prospect in the organization.

In 2009, Hoes was challenged with much adversity. The Orioles, impressed with what they saw in short season ball and spring training, decided to challenge Hoes in the South Atlantic League. At 19, he was one of the youngest players in the league. Performance-wise, it was rather horrific. The year before he earned 30 walks over 191 plate appearances. In Delmarva, he managed 23 walks in 465 plate appearances. He also showed less power. His final slash was 260/299/318. His defense was poor, but was a definite improvement from the season before. During the summer, he also had to deal with losses in his family. It was a very difficult season for him. The loss of plate discipline concerned me enough to drop him from 10th to 17th in our organizational rankings. The developmental staff was impressed though and thought he deserved to be promoted to HiA Frederick for the 2010 season.

In 2010, Hoes has basically made many of us look like we made a hasty judgment. No one had given up on him, but perhaps we too quickly downgraded him. The needed gap power has yet to arrive, but everything else came back in his performance. He currently is sitting at 301/429/398. He is getting good contact on the ball and is working the count. He is on pace to cut his error rate by more than half and his range has appeared to expand (small sample size) by about 25% (which means that his placement and footwork is better). If he continues to do this well, I know I will be arguing with Stotle about putting Hoes in our top 5 next season. I believe these traits are real and with a little more age on him, I think he will see a slight increase in his gap power. I imagine the year after next, Hoes will be in the top 100.

More thoughts after the jump.


Brandon Cooney - 63.4%GB, 9.8%LD, 9.5 k/9, 2.62 FIP
Impressive relief candidate.


Xavier Avery - LF/CF - 309/369/418, 384babip
Swing improving with more line drives, great contact, promising.
Kyle Hudson - LF/CF - 240/363/269, 316babip
Great fielder, no arm, great eye, no bat, great speed, poor baserunning. Going to be difficult for him.
Joe Mahoney - 1B - 277/333/479, 319babip
SB are gone and power appears to be back, sleeper who has a chance to break out.
Greg Miclat - SS - 314/397/392, 364babip
Some fielding troubles, offensive numbers appear unsustainable.
Billy Rowell - 3B/DH - 328/415/503, 434babip
Beginning to be noticed again, but without position and some batted ball luck.
Ronnie Welty - RF - 247/333/495, 296babip
Batting average should rise, good defense, interesting prospect.

1 comment:

Jordan said...

Really impressed with LJ so far and happy to see him doing well. I attended the low minors spring training facility for three games + being there two hours early each time for BP. I can say that there was definitely a focus on Hoes' defense. He had numerous discussions with coaches about glove work, foot work, double play tips etc. More so than any other player there.