The 23-year-old Hoese, a product of Tulane University, was listed as the tenth-best third base prospect in baseball. Busch, also 22 years of age, was surprisingly ranked as the sixth-best second base prospect, providing even more evidence that the Los Angeles farm is among the best in the game.
Hoese was chosen by the Dodgers as the 25th overall pick in the first round of the 2019 draft. Immediately after his selection, he was ushered to rookie ball in Arizona, where he hit .357/.456/.643 with five doubles and three homers in 56 AB over 19 games. From there, he went straight to Low-A Great Lakes, bypassing Ogden in the Pioneer League. For the Loons, he slashed .264/.330/.385 with three long balls in 22 games.
The right-handed hitting Hoese has the ability to drive the ball to all fields and continues to gain power at the plate. His 6-foot-4 frame, coupled with his decent range on the infield, is perfect for the hot corner. Scouts say right now his arm strength might be his best asset.
Already, Hoese has climbed the prospect rankings in the Dodgers system according to MLB Pipeline, having recently elevated to the No. 7 spot.
Taken just six picks after Hoese, Busch was selected as the 31st overall pick in the 2019 draft out of the University of North Carolina.
Billy Gasparino, the Dodgers’ director of player development, called Busch an “elite left-handed hitter,” comparing him to current Los Angeles slugger Max Muncy.
Said Gasparino not long after Busch’s selection, “Michael is a guy who we thought was one of the better bats in the Cape [Cape Cod League], both in terms of performance and swing, as well as overall defensive versatility. He’s been a staple in the UNC program. They rave about his makeup and his character, and we’re excited to add him to our organization. We’re going to challenge Michael and start at second base.”
Coincidentally, Busch was primarily a shortstop at UNC. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranked Busch as having the best overall power grade among all the second base prospects.
After playing a handful of games in the Arizona Rookie League last season, the six-foot, 205-lb. Busch arrived at Great Lakes in time to appear in five games, going 2-for-11 with two RBI and six walks. According to Mayo, Busch’s “advanced approach at the plate allows him to wait for good pitches to drive.”
Busch hit 33 homers over his final two years at North Carolina.
Shortstop rankings are due to be published on January 22.