After getting nine at-bats late last year with Double-A Bowie, Orioles prospect LJ Hoes began this season back with Single-A Frederick.
But on May 23, he moved back to Double-A and this time he is staying there. Hoes currently is wielding one of the hottest bats on the O's farm and in 35 Baysox games, he is now batting .320 with no homers, 17 RBIs and a .745 OPS.
He also has a most respectable 16-to-13 strikeout-to-walks ratio.
Over his past four games, Hoes is 10-for-16. Over his past 14 games, since his batting average dropped to .203, he is batting a sizzling .481 at 26-for-54.
Just two of those 26 hits are extra-base hits, both doubles. But you have to figure he will show more pop in his bat as the season goes on. For now, to see a 21-year-old player batting .320 in his first real crack at Double-A is most impressive.
Hoes is hitting .366 versus left-handed pitching, .418 when batting third and .325 when hitting with runners in scoring position.
"LJ is a guy that we always know can hit the ball real hard. It was only a matter of time until things were going to start falling for him," Bowie manaer Gary Kendall said. "For being 21 years old and hitting in the three-hole in Double-A he is doing a really good job. He continues to get good pitches to hit."
Here is something I just recently noticed: Brandon Snyder is hitting with more power this year for Triple-A Norfolk.
Snyder, who hit two homers Sunday against Charlotte, is now batting .274 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs in 67 games.
Snyder had 11 homers in 601 at-bats in Norfolk during the 2009 and 2010 seasons combined. This year, he has 11 homers in just 266 at-bats.
Last year, he hit nine homers in 98 games at Triple-A, and this year has 11 in 67 games. His slugging is up from .407 to .447 this year and his OPS has risen from .732 to .780.
Snyder's career high in homers is the 13 he hit in 2008 with Frederick. He seems certain to top that and perhaps now is producing more power than most fans thought he was capable of producing.