Schoop & Hoes Keeping Busy in Fall League Play

Although the Minor League Baseball season has been over for a few weeks now, some young players were selected by their big league squad to participate in the Arizona Fall League.

For those of you who have never heard of this, the Arizona Fall League is an off-season league owned and operated by Major League Baseball which operates during the fall in Arizona at five spring training venues. The season runs from early October until the middle of November. It consists of six teams, each of which has prospects from five MLB teams.  Each Major League team provides seven players who team up to fill the 35-man roster of each team. For example, the Mesa Solar Sox have young players that come from the Orioles system along with the Cubs, Astros, Dodgers and Tigers. The Phoenix Desert Dogs, Scottsdale Scorpions, Peoria Javelinas, Salt River Rafters and the Surprise Saguaros comprise the rest of the teams.

Yesterday, we looked at the pitcher’s representing the O’s, so today we look at the two hitters for the Solar Sox that both saw time in Frederick during the 2011 season.

Part of the 2011 Keys Championship team, O’s #3 prospect Jonathan Schoop, spent his entire 2012 season with the Double-A Bowie Baysox after helping Frederick raise the Mills Cup. His .290 average in 2011 between Delmarva and Frederick was enough to warrant a promotion to Bowie for the now 21-year old phenom. Schoop spent plenty of the season playing second base while his teammate Manny Machado was at shortstop. Schoop hit .245 in his first Double-A season, with 14 homers and 56 RBI. Although he saw most of his reps at 2B, once Machado got the call, he saw time at short as well, which could benefit him in the long run with Manny playing 3B for the O’s. In the Fall League, Schoop is second on the team in batting average at .333 with three doubles, a homer and four RBI. Schoop won the 2011 Brooks Robinson Award as the Baltimore Orioles’ Minor League Player of the Year and was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008.

Schoop may have been the 2011 recipient of the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year award, but the 2012 winner also finds himself in the Fall League. Called up to the Orioles after a great year in the minors, #12 O’s prospect LJ Hoes only saw one at-bat and after his promotion on September 11th. He saw minimal pinch-running opportunities as well, but that doesn’t take away from what he did in 2012. After spending 2011 split between Frederick and Bowie, Hoes began 2012 with the Baysox, where he posted a solid .265 average over 51 games. He was promoted to Norfolk, where he found more success. In 82 games with the Tides, LJ hit an even .300 with three homers and 38 RBI. He was riding a 20-game hitting streak with Norfolk at one point at well. Despite his great season in Triple-A, he is struggling to find his stroke in the Fall League. Hitting just .130 in 23 at-bats, Hoes has registered just three RBI over six games. It is a small sample size, so there is plenty of time for him to start hitting. Hoes is a local guy, selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the third round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of St. John’s High School in Washington, D.C.

To follow the Orioles prospects on the Mesa Solar Sox throughout the Arizona Fall League, click here.

To see profiles on the Orioles pitching prospects in the AFL, click here.

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