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Zack Hess

#31 | RHP | TigersDET
Erie SeaWolves Erie SeaWolves
Zack Hess
Name: Zachary Tyler Hess
Born: Feb 25, 1997 in Lynchburg, VA
High School: Liberty Christian Academy, Lynchburg, Va.
College: Louisiana State
Ht.: 6'6" / Wt.: 219 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Drafted in the 7th round (202nd overall) by the Detroit Tigers in 2019 (signed for $227,700)
Hess knows what it’s like to hear his name called on draft day, as this June will be the third time he has been selected. He was a 35th-round pick of the Braves out of high school and a 36th-round pick of the Yankees last year as a draft-eligible sophomore. He’ll be taken much higher this year, even after a year that has been a little disappointing. Hess impressed last summer with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, as he developed his rarely used changeup into a potentially fringe-average pitch. But heading into his junior season. Hess pulled a groin muscle, then suffered a second, different groin injury that forced him to exit an April 12 start against Missouri after only 13 ineffective pitches. After his second injury, the Tigers moved Hess back to the bullpen, where he had been extremely effective as a freshman. Following an impressive relief appearance against Florida, that was expected to be his new role, but an injury to freshman Cole Henry forced LSU to return Hess to starting on Friday night. Switching back and forth just reinforced the belief among many scouts that Hess is best suited for a relief role. He’s battled control problems over longer stints, has a head whack in his delivery and his high-intensity approach seems to help him thrive in pressure-packed relief appearances. A slight cross-fire in his delivery also helps him hide the ball. At his best, Hess has two devastating plus pitches with a mid-90s fastball that has touched 98 mph and a hard but sometimes inconsistent power slider. But his fastball and breaking ball are generally less impressive when he’s starting, which leads to the belief among a number of scouts that you’d rather have Hess try to attack hitters for an inning or two rather than work as a middling back-of-the-rotation starter. If he did move to the bullpen in pro ball, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him eventually touch 100 mph with a plus slider. As a starter, he’ll have to improve his below-average command and control.
Career Statistics
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