The Case for James Hoey | The Process Report

The Case for James Hoey

//by Jason Collette

I am cheap by nature. Maybe it comes from a rather unfortunate upbringing involving food stamps and even being homeless for a summer.  Whatever the reason, I am alway hunting for bargains at the grocery store and the clothing store. Maybe that is why I’m so endeared to the Rays’ front office because they too like to stretch their front office dollars as far as possible. Tommy and RJ have made cases for Fernando Cabrera and Chris Sampson as bargain buys for 2011; it is my turn to make the case for James Hoey.

Let me be clear, Hoey is only a consideration for a minor league contract to see how things work out but he has always intrigued me. He first hit the scene in 2006 as he blazed his way through three levels of the Orioles’ farm system before making his major league debut. Back then, Hoey was working high 90’s with a strong slider and he struck out 73 batters in 51 minor league innings that season. In his minor league career, he has a 10.3 K/9, a 0.5 HR/9, a 2.4 strikeout to walk ratio, and a 2.97 FIP.

He has been given just 34 innings of work with the Orioles, and they have not bee productive innings. He has walked 23 while striking out just 24 in that timeframe while giving up 39 hits. Hoey’s control has been abysmal in the major leagues as he struggled to locate his fastball or his slider before going down with a labrum injury in 2008 which caused him to miss the entire season. That labrum surgery followed a TJ surgery Hoey had in 2004 which shelved that season as well as most of 2005.

Does this story sound familiar? A hard throwing right-handed reliever with multiple surgeries looking for a second chance in the big leagues? It should – that’s where Grant Balfour was when the Rays acquired him from Milwaukee who had designated him for assignment just a few days before the trade. Hoey is just 28 years old and now that he is two years removed from his surgery, maybe there is something there for the Durham Bulls to utilize while the Rays wait and see what Hoey has left.

Last season in 52 innings between AA and AAA, he struck out 70 batters while walking 34 and giving up just one home run. Color me intrigued if he can find the strike zone on a more consistent basis.


  1. kgengler wrote:

    The case for Jim Hoey: He’s from my hometown.

Leave a Reply

#layout { padding-left:20px; }