Have you ever wanted to know what MLB scouting departments ask top prospects in the months leading up to the draft? Want to get a look inside the mind of the Dodgers’ latest first-round draft pick, Tulane product Kody Hoese? I had the chance to be part of the process for an MLB team. Here’s Kody Hoese’s pre-draft interview. Perhaps you will see why the Dodgers were so high on the possible incumbent for Justin Turner.
Congrats to @GreenWaveBSB third baseman Kody Hoese, drafted 25th overall by the @Dodgers in the 2019 @MLBDraft – becoming the first Tulane position player selected in the first round since 2003! #AmericanBSB pic.twitter.com/YsFdsoXq1Q
— The American (@American_Conf) June 4, 2019
Why do you think the MLB Draft is so unpredictable in terms of who makes it to the big leagues and who doesn’t?
I mean I just kind of think it’s unpredictable once you get into the minor leagues everyone has a different work ethic, and some people don’t make it due to the fact that they see getting drafted as the final destination. Others believe that’s just the beginning. I think you have to continue to work hard and improve each day and it will work out for you.
What gets you excited, and what gets you upset when you play the game of baseball?
At a young age I have always had a passion for the game. Just growing up it was always baseball first with all I did. Whether it was playing in the backyard, or in college. Baseball has always been the game I have a passion for.
Nothing really upsets me personally, I am a pretty even-keel person. I don’t get too high or low with anything. If I had to say something, it’s just looking at other people and if they’re not working hard that kind of upsets me knowing that they could potentially be better than what they’re showing.
What does it take for a baseball team to win a championship?
I think it takes the right guys or coaches, kind of that relationship you have with your team and that culture they try to build there, a winning culture. You have to have the right people driving the bus to make it all happen.
What is the difference between you and a MLB player right now?
I think the difference is just the age and the maturity. At 21 years old you still have a lot to learn just off the field as well. I think the maturity for those guys in the big leagues is a lot greater than a 21-year old in college.
Finish the sentence for me: Kody is a great player, but?
But there is still a lot in his game that can improve on and off the field.
Take me through your routine to get ready to hit
When I’m going up to the plate I see who the pitcher is, how they’re getting guys out, stuff like that. Stepping into the box I know what pitch I’m looking for. If it’s a pitcher’s pitch I won’t swing at it. There’s a bunch of factors that play into things like base runners, score, that all factors into things. This is a tough question to ask, it’s more situational rather than just a one-answer thing.
My mindset in the batters box is I’m very relaxed, calm, I trust my plan and approach. I’m not focused on trying to get a hit. Just trusting my approach.
How will you know when you’ve made it?
When I’m stepping into the batter’s box when I am on a big league roster, and then I think it even continues farther when I’m winning a World Series with the guys I love playing every day with. Celebrating with the coaches. It will really sink in then that I’ve made it.
Tell me about something in your life that you’re grateful for
I am grateful for the people I spend time with every day. Whether it be my teammates, coaches, or family. I am grateful for them every day and I don’t take any day for granted.
Talk to me about a time in your life you have had to deal with adversity.
There hasn’t been anything really tragic for me. No deaths or crazy illnesses. I was selected by the Royals last year, and it has been my dream to play pro baseball since I was a little kid. To turn it down to come back and hopefully get drafted again was a big decision for me. That was probably one of the toughest for me.
How do great players improve other players around them?
They have to lead by example. Great players through the right way to do things, by going out, working hard, doing the extra things, the little things. Other guys notice that and it clicks for a team like that.
What is the toughest adjustment you see yourself needing to make in Pro Baseball?
Probably just the little things honestly, no major adjustments. You’re going to see better pitching, pitch recognition, get more mature with your approach, I think those things will really help me succeed at pro ball.
What is an example of an adjustment you have had to make?
I think going from high school to college really changed my approach and how I view things from a hitting standpoint. It’s a little different than college pitching. It will be the same going to pro ball – you have to make adjustments and if something isn’t working and you’re struggling or not doing well – you have to make an adjustment. Just back to what I said when I came to college, the pitching gets better each level and you have to work on little things in the cages. Whether it’s timing, pitch recognition, stuff like that. It’s really helped me so far.
What advice would you have for a freshman who wants to follow in your footsteps and play pro ball?
They really need to commit to their goals they have set up for themselves. Continue to work each day, every day, hard. Have fun at what you’re doing and I think those goals can be exceeded by anyone.
If we draft you and we’re able to sign you, what can you guarantee us?
I can guarantee that you’re going to get a good, focused, very goal-oriented guy. I think not a lot of guys are very… I think going back to your earlier question… a lot of guys when they get drafted they think they have made it. Looking at me I’m going to continue to push because I’m going to not settle and continue to have drive each day in the big leagues on a roster. That’s what you’ll get out of me.