You need a 2' 3/4 brass pipe nipple with a quarter turn brass ball valve with female pipe threads and a 3/4" brass mpt to hose connection adapter. I know lots of plumbers who recommend changing these. The better water heater manufacturers now put in brass valves.
Maybe these other guys live in an area with good city water and don't worry about draining their water heater. They should be drained regularly and especially if your water has lots of minerals and dissolved solids that can settle the the bottom of the water heater and then making all sorts of popping noises.
The plastic valves are prone to breaking, cracking, and leaking as well as the nipple that screws into the tank. Since I've had them break before, I replace them or only buy Bradford-White water heaters with brass valves which brand is only sold wholesale. The last thing you want is to drain your water heater some Sunday evening and have the plastic valve start leaking. You, the wife, and kids will be going to work and school Monday without a hot shower/bath. So go for it. By the way, I took some time off hoping the hacker infesting this site would leave but he is still around. Second by the way, I also believe in replacing gate valves with ball valves.