April 8, 2020

LA’s first-round pick Kody Hoese working out at parents’ house in Griffith

This isn’t what Kody Hoese envisioned.

Right now, he should be hitting baseballs to the gaps and fielding grounders at third base in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization.

Not working out in his mom and dad’s basement in Griffith.

“It’s really tough right now because we just got back from (spring training) in Arizona, and I worked hard to get in shape and ready for the season,” said the MLB’s 25th overall pick of the 2019 draft. “It was bad timing leading right into the start of the season.”

Instead of seeing live pitching, Hoese is doing his best working out at home in his Griffith basement and staying in shape for when baseball is called back to action due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hoese said he was going to start the season in high-A ball for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in California. Everything was looking up for the former Tulane star who exploded on the scene after an incredible junior campaign.

Hoese rolled the dice and returned to Tulane for his junior season after being drafted in the 35th round by the Royals. The decision paid dividends and then some as the former Griffith star went from five homers as a sophomore to 23 last spring when he set the American Athletic Conference records for homers, total bases (1,832), slugging percentage (.779) and runs (72), while hitting a robust .391. Those numbers pushed him into the first round, where the Dodgers swiped him up at No. 25.

“The Dodgers’ organization is one of the best out there,” Hoese said. “I have made some really good relationships with the coaches and players already.

“The organization is first class and does a great job with whatever we need as players.”

Hoese’s natural spot is third base, but he’s already been told he’ll be getting some action at shortstop once baseball is back in action. With shifts nowadays, he said, you have to be able to move and cover other areas.

Hoese, a 6-foot-4, 200-pounder, seems to have acclimated to pro ball. He hit .299 between rookie-level Arizona and the low-A Great Lakes Loons to wrap up last season.

“I’m extremely happy with my progression (so far),” Hoese said. “There’s still a lot to be learned and developed, but I’m happy with where I am at.

“I’m really just focused on this upcoming season whenever we start. I just want to get better each day and continue to develop.”

One benefit of being home is his favorite restaurant, Bridges’ Scoreboard, is about 2 miles away and still serving carryout dinners during the lockdown.

Still, Hoese is itching to get back to work.

“I’ve been playing video games, watching Netflix and hanging out with the family,” he said. “Baseball helps by letting me take my mind off the chaos that is going on in the world.”

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