SARASOTA, Fla. – L.J. Hoes is getting a longer look at this year’s Orioles spring training. Last year, Hoes was a late invitee to camp, and one of the early cuts.
This year, it’s different.
“Me going out there and being more relaxed. Last year, I was kind of nervous, first time in big league camp and being around the guys,” Hoes said. “I feel a lot more comfortable.”
Hoes admitted to being a little nervous being around Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts, some of the veterans he’d grown up watching. He finds it funny that he’s palling around with Adam Jones, whose first year with the Orioles was Hoes’ first year in high school.
“Being around those guys and having the opportunity to share the same clubhouse as them was kind of breathtaking,” Hoes said.
After Markakis was hurt last year, Hoes was added to the roster, and he appeared in two games.
“I definitely think it helps me out just to see what the big league lifestyle is about,
The Mitchellville, Md. resident has lots of attention on him because he’s a local guy.
“You definitely get those questions. You try not to pay attention to it,” Hoes said.
“You’ve got friends and family who say, ‘when are you going to do this? When are you going to do that? Can you leave me tickets?’ It’s definitely tough,” Hoes said.
“I have to maintain my attitude, and that’s what I’m here for, and that’s to prepare myself for the season.”
There are a lot more outfielders in the clubhouse, all with more big league experience than Hoes. He’s not afraid of being overlooked.
“They know who I am,” Hoes said. “These guys are great new additions.”
After his September callup, Hoes was driven to each game by his father. He’s now moved out of his parent’s house, and he’s on his own, but he lives just five minutes from his family. He cherished the time with his father.
“He was able to be at all the games. He’s a big fan of the Orioles, too,” Hoes said. “It was good to have my family there and have home cooked meals.”