This spring we have the pleasure of talking with Orioles Prospect, LJ Hoes, as he participates in his first big league camp. LJ has been gracious enough to meet with us on a weekly basis, talking about his experience working out with not only the big league players, but also, the big league coaches. If you have a question that you would like us to ask LJ, please email it to BaltimoreSportsReport@gmail.com.
M– When did you know you were going to be assigned to the big league camp?
LJ– I guess a week before big league camp started. Maybe the 6th or 7th (of February). I was definitely shocked. We had a minicamp they were inviting me to, and then to find out so close to spring training that I was going to big league camp was exciting and very shocking.
M– What were you doing this offseason?
LJ– Working out. Jest been lifting, throwing, running and hitting. Trying to get faster. Improve my speed.
M– Any noticeable improvements?
LJ– My overall game was better. You put the work in, you are bound to get better. I feel like my speed has improved. I’m stronger than I was last year and just learning the game and the maturity of the player.
M– How’s the weather in Sarasota?
LJ– The weather is great. 83-84 degrees. I’m actually sitting outside on my hotel balcony, enjoying the good weather and watching the cars go by. It’s definitely good to be outside, not like the weather up in Maryland. I talked to my family members the other day, and they said it is freezing cold up there. It’s good to be down here.
M– Describe your relationship with Xavier Avery?
LJ– We have a great relationship. He’s one of my closest friends in the organization. We have our ups and downs. Sometimes, we get along well and sometimes we fight like brothers. It’s definitely great to have someone around who has been through the bumps and bruises with you and someone you can bounce ideas off of, and ask different questions to, and vice-versa. It’s good to have someone there along the way and help you. I’m glad he is there.
M– Who on the Orioles were you most looking forward to working out with this spring?
LJ– First, it had to be Adam Jones. He’s been my favorite player since he came to the Orioles. Someone I really looked up to, someone I watched play a lot. Looked at how he approaches the game and how hard he plays.
Another guy being Nick Markakis. Some say that he is the face of the franchise, so its good to be around him and see how he does in his daily routine. He’s such a great hitter- that’s the main thing I can pick up off of what he does and apply it to my game.
M- Spring Training started for you on Friday. How’s it been?
LJ– It’s been great. Going out there and getting to work hard and being around the big league clubhouse and seeing the new facilities and just working out with the big league coaches. You know you are going to get better because you are working so hard, for such a long period of time, and you are learning so many good things that I didn’t know before. I am starting to know them and practice them so I am definitely getting better.
M– What positions are you working out at this season?
LJ– I’m still working at second base, working at third base. Working in right field, working in left field. Wherever I can play, being more versatile gives me more options to move up the ladder. I might not break in as a left fielder or a second baseman, but maybe as a utility guy in a year or two. So definitely being able to play multiple positions will help me throughout my career.