Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 40…of 286. Stay tuned.
Chris Hoo is a 5’9″, 190 lb. right-handed catcher from Cupertino, CA. Born on February 19th, 1992, Hoo was selected by the Miami Marlins in the 27th round of the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft out of California Polytechnic State University. You can follow him on Twitter at @hoobear08.
14 natives of Cupertino were drafted in the years before Hoo was selected 797th overall, but none ever made the major leagues. As far as making it to the majors after getting selected with the 797th overall pick, two-of-54 have made it. Bob Howry (1992, Houston Astros, 10.8 career WAR), and Kyle Denney (1999, Cleveland Indians, -0.6 WAR).
As a collegiate player, Hoo was twice named to the Big West Conference All-Conference Team, in both his sophomore and senior seasons. He was also honored as the 2014 Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
After signing on June 8th, 2014, Hoo split his first professional season between the rookie-level GCL Marlins in the Gulf Coast League, the short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League, and the class-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League. In 30 games in total, he slashed .321/.459/.397, drawing 11 walks and striking out 11 times in 101 plate appearances. He collected six doubles and five RBI. Defensively, Hoo made just one error in 227 total chances behind the plate for a .996 fielding percentage while throwing out nearly half of would-be basestealers, gunning down 23-of-48. He also only passed two balls.
In 2015, Hoo again split his season. This time, he played with the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League and the Jacksonville Suns in the double-A Southern League. The much larger sample size yielded a .199/.273/.253 slashline in 92 games, with 26 walks and 52 whiffs in 337 plate appearances. The strongest aspect of Hoo’s game continued to be his defense. He earned a .992 fielding percentage in 807 innings behind the plate.
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2016 would see Hoo spend the entire season with the Hammerheads.He played in 77 games and slashed .210/.291/.262, drawing 17 walks and striking out 48 times in 264 plate appearances. For the second season in a row, Hoo totaled two home runs and 14 RBI. He also continued to impress on the defensive side of the ball, holding down a .993 fielding percentage in 628 1/3 innings.
2017 would see Hoo split the campaign between the Hammerheads and the rebranded Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. This time, he only played in 42 games and slashed just .188/.317/.248, with 16 walks and 44 K’s in 139 plate appearances. In no surprise, Hoo put up a solid .994 fielding percentage in 318 2/3 innings at the backstop, and threw out 15-of-44 basestealers.
It was more of the same for Hoo in 2018, between the Shrimp and the Sharks, although he only played in a total of 23 games before getting released on May 29th. Hoo’s story didn’t end there, however. His strong work ethic and solid defensive work helped him get a gig with the parent club, as their bullpen catcher. According to the Miami Herald:
"It’s not the way I envisioned it. I never expected myself to be here in this job, doing this. I never thought this was going to happen. But I’m loving every minute that I’m here. – Hoo, who has been the Marlins bullpen catcher since June"
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