L.J. Hoes: Baltimore Orioles Hot Prospect Knocking on Door at Camden Yards

James MorisetteCorrespondent IIIJuly 13, 2012

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - MARCH 18:  Outfielder L.J. Hoes #71 of the Baltimore Orioles fouls off a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at Champion Stadium at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on March 18, 2012 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Last Sunday I penned an article discussing how Detroit Tigers hot prospect Nick Castellanos may force team GM Dave Dombrowski’s hand to call him up to the major leagues.

After watching Baltimore Orioles hot outfield prospect L.J. Hoes play lately, I am convinced this young man may force Dan Duquette to do the same very soon.

Hoes, a 22-year-old leadoff hitter from Washington D.C., has scorched the baseball for the Norfolk Tides since being promoted the last week of May.

In 36 games with Norfolk, Hoes has batted .324 (45-for-139) with two home runs and 16 RBI. This right-handed hitter also has nine doubles, three triples and 12 stolen bases for the Tides. Hoes’ OBP/SLG/OPS is .379/.468/.847. He has also walked 33 times to 31 strikeouts.

In the last 10 games, Hoes is batting .390 (16-for-41) with five doubles, a homer and eight RBI. His OBP/ SLG/OPS during this stretch is an eye-popping .444/.585/1.030.

More exciting, Hoes is riding a 20-game hitting streak. Per MILB.com, Hoes trails Gregg Jefferies, who holds the team record with a 24-game streak set back in 1998.

Combining Hoes’ play at Bowie in 2012 paints a great picture of things to come for the Orioles.

In 87 games and 335 at-bats, Hoes' stat line is as follows:

.290 52 97 19  5  4  32 43 52 16 .373 .412 .785

Pretty impressive to say the least.

Like Bryce Harper has done with the Washington Nationals, and like Mike Trout has done with the LA Angels, Hoes has the potential to provide that key spark the Orioles need at just the right moment.

With Brian Roberts recently falling to injury, the Orioles are in need of a ballplayer that can solidify the leadoff/second hole position down the stretch.  

More importantly, should Hoes get the call-up and perform well, the Orioles can focus on other team needs as the trade deadline looms.

In other team developments, Orioles pitcher Zach Britton pitched a gem Thursday, tossing seven shutout innings in the Tides’ 7-0 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Also, pitcher Brian Matusz and outfielder Nate McLouth were named International League Players of the week, according to MILB.com.


James covers the Baltimore Orioles as a Featured Writer for Bleacher Report. You can follow James on Twitter here.

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