With the 25th pick in the draft, the Dodgers have selected third baseman Kody Hoese from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. In mock drafts, Hoese was projected to go 23rd by MLB.com, 14th by ESPN and 19th by Baseball America.
Credit to Hoese for being a disciplined enough hitter to be selected by the Royals in the 35th round of last year’s draft, but if you were to look up “one-year wonder” in the dictionary, his photo might appear next to the definition. After a miserable freshman season (.213/.287/.279 with no homers in 139 plate appearances) and a solid but unspectacular sophomore campaign (.291/.368/.435 with five home runs in 262 PAs), Hoese has absolutely gone off as a junior and become one of the best hitters — both in terms of making contact and slugging — in the country. Over 277 plate appearances, Hoese has a ridiculous .392/.487/.789 slash line with 23 homers. In addition, he has a career-high 13.7% walk rate and a career-low 10.8% walk rate.
It remains to be seen whether Hoese’s breakout offensive performance in 2019 will enable him to succeed as a pro, but considering that he’s shot up mock draft projections in recent weeks, it seems as if there’s an increasing belief that he will — and if he does, he’ll be an imposing slugging third baseman, the likes of whom we don’t see a whole lot in the big leagues today. He’s a polished defender with solid range at third base, and it’s expected that he’ll be able to remain at the position as a pro. With Los Angeles being so good at developing hitters — Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, and Alex Verdugo are some of the Dodgers draftees who have outperformed their draft position in recent years — Hoese should feel pretty confident that he’ll be put in a position to succeed while in LA’s system.