3 top prospects Dodgers can afford to trade this offseason
By Adam Weinrib
2. Kody Hoese
2019’s first-round selection Kody Hoese is no longer the “advanced college bat” at third base he was when he was chosen.
Now, he’s looking more and more like a question mark.
The easy power hasn’t translated; Hoese homered just twice in 260 at-bats in the 2021 regular season. The glove will never be his calling card. The extra-base power evaporated, too; just eight doubles in ’21 won’t do much to convince the Dodgers that he’s close to unlocking much of anything.
Once a top-five prospect, Hoese now ranks 13th entering the 2022 campaign, and might be the type of formerly-pedigreed selection that other teams would prefer to unlock.
At the moment, it certainly seems like the loss of the 2020 season hurt him from a development perspective. The mental toll of believing you’re about to enter your first full season in a player development machine, only to instead have to sit tight and work out in isolation all summer long, is difficult for us outsiders to comprehend. What we do know is that current Dodgers No. 6 prospect Miguel Vargas, buoyed by exceptional contact skills and developing power, has certainly passed Hoese on the organizational depth chart.
Vargas rocketed 23 homers and hit .319 in a 2021 season that finished at Double-A. With Justin Turner approaching his final seasons with the franchise, LA definitely needs a third-base succession plan; they can’t afford to lose Vargas at the moment. What they can afford to do is sell Hoese while he still has recency-bias value, though. He might still be more valuable as a secondary trade piece than as insurance.