2019 MLB Draft Preview: Kody Hoese scouting report
The 2019 MLB Draft is just two and a half weeks away — the first round kicks off on June 3, 2019 — its time to start offering capsule looks at players the Texas Rangers could select with their top picks. The Rangers’ first round pick is at #8, their second round pick is at #50, and they have Milwaukee’s competitive balance pick, acquired in the Alex Claudio trade, which is #41.
Leading up to draft day, we will be doing writeups of some of the players who could end up getting selected by the Rangers with one of their first three picks. Today, we are looking at Tulane third baseman Kody Hoese.
Kody Hoese is a 6’4”, 200 lb. third baseman who is a junior at Tulane University. Hoese is a righthanded hitter who is among the Division I leaders in home runs this season. Hoese was a 35th round pick of the Kansas City Royals in 2018 as a draft-eligible sophomore. He opted not to sign, which appears to have been a smart decision, as he’s moved up the boards significantly since last year.
Baseball America’s top 500 list has Hoese at #30, and he rose dramatically from their previous version, where he was at #72. MLB Pipeline has Hoese at #27 on their list, calling him the best offensive prospect to come out of Tulane since Michael Aubrey in 2003. Keith Law has Hoese at #32 on his board, while Fangraphs has him at #33.
What prompted me to write up Hoese was Fangraphs, in their mock draft earlier this week, mentioning him as a below-slot option for the Rangers at #8, though they end up actually projecting Hoese to go to the Dodgers at #31, and say he won’t get past the Astros at #32. One can argue that if both the Dodgers and Astros like a potential draft pick, your team should also be interested in him. Keith Law projects Hoese to Oakland at #29 in his most recent mock draft, while MLB Pipeline has him going to the Rockies at #23.
There are interesting conflicting reports on Hoese, with BA suggesting he is unlikely to stick at 3B, while MLB Pipeline indicating that he’s a good bet to stay there, and Law and MLB Pipeline praising his swing while Fangraphs says he has below-average bat speed. Hoese does seem to be a guy whose value will depend almost entirely on his bat, and in particular how well his new power surge translates to the pros. Hoese turns 22 in July, which makes him one of the older prospects on any of the boards, and that probably gives him even less leverage in terms of signing that your run-of-the-mill college junior.