Continuing along with the profiles of several of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ non-roster invitees to 2021 Spring Training, we move to the infield and one of the highest-rated position players, 23-year-old Kody Hoese.
There were many discussions among fans early last winter that included Hoese’s name, particularly before the team decided to bring back veteran Justin Turner on a two-year deal. The consensus is that Hoese certainly might be the club’s third baseman of the future, but how long it takes the youngster to emerge as a legitimate big leaguer remains to be seen.
In the meantime, Turner and 26-year-old lefty-hitting Edwin Rios will conceivably share the bulk of the time at the hot corner this year, with other players like Chris Taylor, Max Muncy, and Matt Beaty on alert to fill in if needed.
In January, Mike Rosenbaum of MLB.com put together a piece highlighting the Top 10 third base prospects across the majors with Hoese coming in at No. 8. In 2020, the right-handed hitting Hoese appeared as the tenth-best third base prospect in a similar list put together by both Rosenbaum and Jim Callis.
Like front-office boss Andrew Friedman, Hoese attended Tulane University in New Orleans. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder was a bit of a late bloomer—as a freshman at Tulane, he hit just .213 with no homers in 44 games, primarily rotating between shortstop and third base. During his sophomore year, he played at third base exclusively, and his bat began to catch fire. He started all 58 games for the Green Wave and slashed .291/.368/.435 with five homers, 13 doubles and 34 RBI.
Things got even better during his junior year in college. Hoese exploded for 23 homers, which was fourth in NCAA Division I. He tied a Tulane record with three homers in the fifth game of the season and won the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors after setting league records for homers, 183 total bases, a .779 slugging percentage and 72 runs scored.
Those numbers elevated the Indiana native to the top of the college prospect rankings. Subsequently, Friedman and his troops selected Hoese in the first round of the 2019 draft, making him the 25th overall pick.
Immediately after the draft, the Dodgers ushered Hoese 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.
Last year, he was included in the club’s 60-man player pool at the team’s alternate training site.
Hoese has the ability to drive the ball to all fields and he continues to gain strength and power at the plate. His tall frame, coupled with his decent infielding range, is perfect for the hot corner. Scouts say right now his arm strength could be his best asset.
Currently, Hoese is ranked as the organization’s fourth-best prospect by MLB Pipeline behind catcher Keibert Ruiz, righty pitcher Josiah Gray, and infielder Michael Busch.
So far in Cactus League games this spring, Hoese has made five appearances, going 2-for-5 with two walks, a home run, and two RBI.
Looking ahead, while there’s almost zero chance Hoese sees any major league action this year, it will be interesting to see how far he can climb the ladder in the minors. Even though his highest level of competition so far has been Low-A ball, it might not be out of the question to see him elevate as high as Double-A Tulsa in 2021.
MLB Pipeline has Hoese’s estimated, big league arrival time as 2022.
6 thoughts on “Dodgers Prospect Watch: Keeping an Eye on Kody Hoese”
I feel a little more positive about Busch’s future than I do Hoese’s but hopefully they’ll both be part of our long term roster situation. If not, AF has built up so much pitching depth that he can use that to trade for whatever shortcomings there are in position players.
Although as far as pitching is concerned, remember when all of our starters seemed to be left handed? Suddenly about 90% of our starter prospects are right handed. I’m assuming that Andrew will use future drafts and trades to straighten out that imbalance.
Well, we know one thing for sure. If a righty pitcher is the best available player on the board, Friedman’s gonna take him. Maybe we’ll see some of the surplus traded off soon. At this point, i really don’t think there’s a need, though.
I expect both will make their debuts somewhere down the road. Right now I see more upside with Busch than Hoese. Urias makes another start tonight against the Royals. Yasiel Puig is still looking for an opportunity, but, he is also under investigation for a sexual assault allegation. Supposedly he groped a woman at a Lakers game. He and his agent deny the charges, but this has probably affected teams who definitely need outfield help from signing him.
Although he is hitting over .300 this spring, I want to see some of the so called power he has before I even begin to believe that Neuse will make the 26 man roster. I still think Barnes, Taylor, McKinstry and Rios are going to be the bench guys. Peters has an outside shot to make it as long as he keeps showing the plate discipline he has so far.