Hoes Opts for MLB

Tar Heel baseball signee L.J. Hoes informed InsideCarolina.com on Wednesday evening that he has decided to bypass college and will sign a contract with the Baltimore Orioles.

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"I plan on meeting with the Orioles and signing my contract on Saturday," he said.

Hoes, an outfielder at Washington (D.C.) St. John's, was a third-round selection (81st pick overall) by Baltimore in last week's Major League Baseball draft.

"The Orioles are a local team and their farm system has a [team] right by my house," Hoes said. "I thought I would have gone a little earlier, but I was very happy to be picked by the Orioles."

He hit .524 this spring, with eight home runs, 29 RBIs and 32 steals.

"L.J. is a good kid -- he loves baseball and works hard at it," said Baltimore Orioles scout Dean Albany, who has been tracking Hoes for several years. "Of course I went to bat for him."

"We are happy as can be to get him. Once we get him signed and everything it will be time for him to get to work and prove me right. He has got to perform. We did not draft L.J. for depth in our minor league system -- we are signing L.J. to help our big league club. Anything short of that and I'm wrong..."

The Mitchellville, Md. native is ranked a national Top 10 outfielder by Perfect Game and the No. 72 senior prospect overall.

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