Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Dodgers First Pick of 2019 Draft - 25th Overall - Kody Hoese

Yesterday was Day 1 of the 2019 amateur draft and the Dodgers had three selections on the day. Their first pick of the evening, 25th overall, is Tulane University third baseman Kody Hoese. He stands 6'4" tall, is 200 lbs., bats and throws right-handed and is an 21-years old Junior. Hoese was also drafted last year by the Kansas City Royals in the 35th round -- 1,052 overall -- so he moved up quite a bit in the draft charts. Per a Dodger press release:
This season, Hoese started all 58 games for the Green Wave, posting a slash line of .391/.486/.779 and mashing 23 home runs while recording 61 RBI. The right-handed hitter also demonstrated solid plate discipline in 2019, walking 39 times compared to just 34 strikeouts. 
“Kody’s a guy we earmarked coming out of the fall that we really thought took a jump in both ability and performance. He’s an athletic 6-4, lean-bodied third baseman who we think is a plus defender,” said Dodger Amateur Scouting Director Billy Gasparino. “We thought the power was going to be there, and then he went out and almost hit .400 with over 20 home runs and really showed us that he was a dynamic hitter that can hit with power.”
In other words, he's a big strong kid who is probably one of the most improved players in the draft. His accolades include being named a Collegiate Baseball First-Team All-American, American Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors and the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for April. You can also follow Kody on twitter here:@Kmhoese. BTW, he is a lifelong Cubs fan. Nevertheless, he will no doubt be signing a contract soon:
As for a scouting report, MLB Pipeline ranked him the 25th best prospect in the draft:
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50 
After going homerless as a freshman in 2017 and hitting just five homers as a sophomore, Hoese ranked fourth in NCAA Division I with 23 longballs during the 2019 regular season. Taken in the 35th round in 2018 by the Royals as a Draft-eligible sophomore, he began to realize his power potential by blasting seven homers with wood bats in the New England Collegiate Baseball League last summer. He tied a Tulane record with three homers in his fifth game of the 2019 season and has kept up the rampage, winning American Athletic Conference player of the year honors. 
Tulane's best offensive prospect since 2003 Indians first-rounder Michael Aubrey, Hoese is loaded with natural right-handed power. He's always had a good swing and the ability to leverage the ball with his 6-foot-4 frame, and he has taken off since getting stronger. He drives the ball in the air from gap to gap with ease, maintaining a disciplined approach that has led to more walks than strikeouts in 2019. 
Though he's a below-average runner, Hoese moves well for his size and covers enough ground to remain at third base. His solid arm strength adds to his quality profile at the hot corner, a package that should land him in the top two rounds.
Below are several articles about Kody that I thought woth checking out:
  • Per Allstate Sugarbowl -- "Tulane Baseball’s Kody Hoese Earns April Athlete of the Month Honor."
Hoese finished the month of April batting .464 at the plate, going 32-for-69 with a .971 slugging percentage and .524 on-base percentage. The Indiana product had 32 RBI and 30 runs scored over the course of the month, with eight doubles and nine home runs. He earned multiple hits in 12 games, including becoming the first Tulane player since 2008 to earn five hits in a single game. He had a hit in 14 of the 16 games Tulane played last month. Hoese drove in two or more RBI seven times, including driving in 12 over the course of five consecutive games. Going into the final month of the season, Hoese was tied for the lead in the country with 21 total home runs and home runs per game (0.48), second in slugging percentage (.842), fourth in total hits (75), fifth in runs scored (75), sixth in runs per game (1.39), seventh in hits per game (1.7), and 15th in batting average (.408). All of those numbers also led the American Athletic Conference. Hoese had the longest hitting streak for any player at 19 games and reached base in 35 consecutive games which is also a team-long streak. Earlier this year Hoese became the seventh player in program history to hit three home runs in a game. He earned The American’s Player of the Week award twice, the LSWA Hitter of the Week award twice, and the AAC’s weekly honor roll twice. Hoese was named to the D1 Baseball and Perfect Game/Rawlings Midseason All-America First Team, as well as the watch list for the Golden Spikes award and Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger award. The Kansas City Royals selected him in the 30th round of last year’s draft as a draft eligible sophomore.
“His defense is plus,” Gasparino said. “We like the two-way type players. I think he can play other positions. He can run. So not only do we get power with Hoese I think we get plus defense, too.”
  • Per ESPN -- "2019 MLB draft: Picks and analysis"
Who is Hoese? The Royals took Hoese in the 35th round last year as a draft-eligible sophomore, but he returned to Tulane and improved from .291 hitting with five home runs to .392 and 23 home runs, while registering more walks than strikeouts. He will turn 22 in July, making him the oldest hitter in Keith Law's top 100, and Hoese eventually could end up at first base.
Why the Dodgers took him here: Did you see those offensive numbers? Back in 2015, the Dodgers struck gold with the 24th pick when Walker Buehler fell because of some arm issues. Hoese fell in part because of his age, and you wonder if the Dodgers will once again take advantage with a stealth late-first-round pick. -- Schoenfield
Hoese is another bat-first prospect who has flashed plenty of raw power throughout the 2019 season. Reviews on his overall profile are a bit mixed — if they weren’t, he’d be a top 10 prospect — but the general consensus is he is a solid hitter who has blossomed into a legitimate power threat over the past year. ESPN’s Keith Law noted that Hoese “has a solid swing that has always led to high contact rates” when he ranked Hoese 33rd on his list of 2019 draft prospects. FanGraphs’ prospect team questioned Hoese’s bat speed in an early summary, but Dan Zielinski III of Baseball Prospect Journal suggested otherwise, saying Hoese has “solid bat speed and a strong understanding of the strike zone.”
Kody Hoese grew up a Chicago Cubs fan living just down the road in Griffith, Indiana. He is a talented third baseman out of Tulane University who was previously drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 35th round of the 2018 MLB Draft. Hoese decided to turn it down and I’m sure he is not regretting that decision. He’s had a monster year in 2019 with Tulane. This season, he’s currently tied for fourth in the nation in homers with 23 while also leading the nation in total bases with 183. Certainly, his draft stock has risen along with his potential payday. Hoese was recently named a semifinalist for the 2019 Golden Spikes Award which is sort of like the baseball version of the Heisman Trophy Award. He was also named the American Athletic Conference Baseball Player of the Year.
"Someone will get a heck of a player and an even better person. He's a humble kid who doesn't get too high or too low."
Hoese - pronounced HO-zee - is from Griffith, Ind., which is in the Chicago metropolitan area. He grew up a Cubs, Bears and Bulls fan, and he sprouted from 6-foot to 6-4 between the eighth grade and his sophomore year of high school.
Lastly, Hoese has just gotten smarter about baseball. 
"Kody has identified how his swing works," Jewett said. "He is using deductive reasoning to understand how pitchers are trying to get him out. He is finding the bottom and the middle of the ball and striking it with force."
In celebration of Kody's selection by the Dodgers I made the above two fantasy custom Baseball cards of him.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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