Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Can L.J. Hoes Turn Into A Superstar With The Astros?

Astros outfielder, L.J Hoes, laces a two-run double in the third inning of a September 10th contest against the Seattle Mariners. (Courtesy of Ted S. Warren)

When the Houston Astros acquired 23-year-old outfielder L.J. Hoes back on July 31st, they certainly didn't expect him to play as well as he's been playing recently. Acquired in the Bud Norris trade with the Baltimore Orioles, Hoes has surprisingly been swinging a hot bat as of late, as entering Monday he's slashing .285/.337/.373 along with a homer & 10 RBI in his 170 plate appearances for the Astros this season. In fact, in his last 53 plate appearances he's slashing .298/.370/.362 with 5 RBI. He has been one of the more consistent players on the Astros since his arrival.

However, Hoes not only adds a key cog in the Astros everyday lineup, but he has also shown he can play in the outfield. This diving snag that he made against the Cleveland Indians in the bottom of the 10th inning last week was certainly a potential game-saving catch.

So with all this upside that Hoes provides, it begs the question: Can L.J. Hoes become a superstar in Houston?

In my opinion, he certainly has the tools & raw talent to become a great player at the big league level. He has some unpolished aspects of his game, but as a young player on the worst team in all of baseball, Hoes has definitely been a bright spot for a dismal 2013 Houston Astros squad. Although he is overshadowed by other young Astros stars, like RHP Jarred Cosart, LHP Brett Oberholtzer, & 2B Jose Altuve, Hoes can certainly make a name for himself in Houston if he can maintain his high level of play. He is only 23-years-old and his ceiling is one of the highest in the Astros organization, in my opinion. 

Only time will tell if Hoes can take his game to the next level in his young career, and become the potential face of the Houston Astros franchise.

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