The Houston Astros further boosted their future outfield on Wednesday, as the organization completed a deal to acquire L.J. Hoes from the Baltimore Orioles.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that Baltimore will send Hoes to Houston in a deal that will bring starting pitcher Bud Norris to the Orioles:
Baltimore selected the young outfielder in the third round of the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft, and Hoes was an instant star. In 48 games in the Gulf Coast League, he hit .308/.416/.390 with eight extra-base hits, 18 RBI and 36 runs. That earned him a spot with Single-A Delmarva to start the 2009 season.
In Hoes’ first full season as a professional, he didn’t turn many heads. In 119 games, he hit .260/.299/.318 with 21 extra-base hits, 47 RBI and 42 runs. He also stole 20 bases and was caught just five times on the season. He did start the next season in High-A Frederick, though, and started to hit much better.
Through 97 games with Frederick, Hoes hit .278/.375/.368 with 24 extra-base hits, 44 RBI and 52 runs. He did spend around a week with Low-A Aberdeen, but also played a few games with Double-A Bowie throughout the course of the year.
After a little more than a month in Single-A to begin the 2011 season, the Orioles promoted the outfielder to Double-A Bowie full time. In 95 games with the Baysox, Hoes was outstanding, as he hit .305/.379/.413 with six homers and 54 RBI. He would play for Bowie for 54 games to start 2012, and later went to Triple-A Norfolk.
In 133 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season, the outfielder hit .287/.372/.388 with 35 extra-base hits, 54 RBI, 79 runs and 20 steals. He was quickly becoming one of the top prospects in Baltimore’s organization. This season, Hoes got hot in Norfolk, which further increased his value.
Hoes played 99 games in Triple-A this season and was hitting .304/.406/.403 with 29 extra-base hits, 40 RBI and 62 runs at the time of the trade.
The 23-year-old has played in three big league games in his career, but is hitless in four plate appearances. He appeared in two games last season and one game in 2013.
MLB.com has Hoes as the seventh-best prospect in Baltimore’s organization. He’ll be heading to Houston with the No. 5 prospect the Orioles had in their minor league system, Josh Hader, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
Hoes is the second young outfield prospect Houston has acquired in the last few days. The Astros acquired Danry Vasquez from the Detroit Tigers on Monday morning, who will likely be in the mix with Hoes in the next few years. Houston also has George Springer and Domingo Santana in its organization.
Houston has been committed to rebuilding for the last few years, and now has set itself up nicely for the future. The Astros have a lot of young pieces that could turn out to be stars in the majors. Hoes fits in perfectly with the organization, and could get regular starting time right away—although it’s unclear as to where he’ll report.
All statistics in this article were obtained via Baseball-Reference unless otherwise noted and are current through July 30.