With the recent draft prowess of the Los Angeles Dodgers, expectations run high for any new prospect coming in the door.
The 2019 Tulane Baseball season came to an early end when the team bowed out of the American Athletic Conference tournament on May 24th. While not the way he wanted to end his career with the Green Wave, Kody Hoese had little time to wallow in the defeat.
The MLB Draft was slated for June 3rd and the young third baseman was expecting to hear his name called early. After stepping into the starting role at Tulane as a sophomore and slashing .283/.370/.493 with seven home runs and 25 RBI, Hoese exploded in 2019. Now draft-eligible, he showcases himself well by finishing tied for fifth in the NCAA in home runs (23) and put up 61 RBI along with a .391/.486/.779 slash as a junior.
The Los Angeles Dodgers obviously liked what they saw in Hoese, making him the 25th overall pick of the 2019 draft. In return, Hoese also made things easy on the Dodgers, signing for the full draft slot of $2,740,300 just eight days later. The kid obviously wanted to play baseball and the Dodgers obliged.
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo once said, “I think as a player there’s a sense of urgency every single year that this is the year we’re going to have success and do the things we’re excited about.” Kody Hoese seems to embody that spirit, leaving nothing to chance and pushing for results. He has a goal and wants to reach it quickly.
The draft was the first step. Signing on the dotted line was second. However, the biggest step is always the next one in front of you. However, Hoese isn’t walking. He’s running.
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Immediately assigned to Dodgers Mota of the AZL, Hoese kept his foot on the gas. In 19 games, he hit .357/.456/.643 with three home runs, 13 RBI, and a wRC+ of 187. He followed that with a promotion to the Midwest League and the Great Lakes Loons, where another pair of home runs, 15 RBI, and hit .264/.330/.385 with a 108 wRC+.
He’s acclimated himself to professional baseball quite well and the 2020 season should have seen Hoese climb through the ranks of the system quickly. A college-groomed hitter with an advanced feel at the plate and the chance to be a plus-third baseman, Hoese has all the earmarks of the next great prospect for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Unfortunately, mother nature (or some laboratory in a foreign country, depending on what rumors you subscribe to on any given day) has a funny way of slowing things down and pumped the brakes a bit on Hoese and the Dodgers. As of this writing, the 2020 MLB is still on lockdown and while we could be progressing to a possible shortened season for the big leagues, there are still no updates on what will become of minor league baseball this season. That leaves Hoese and a stable of prospects in limbo while they look to further their development away from their respective teams.
As with everything right now, clarity will come with time, and regardless of his quick ascent, Hoese has plenty of time to continue his climb and become the Dodgers third baseman of the future. The Dodgers have a team fixture manning the position for now, and will likely find a way to re-up with Justin Turner after the 2020 season ends. That gives the former Tulane product the ability to grow at a steady pace and get himself ready to be a contributor when his name is called.
Just like the other standout prospects before him.