Prep Baseball Report

College Crosscheck: Week Six Pitchers

David Seifert
Director of College Scouting

ATHENS, Ga.- After my first taste of SEC baseball this spring on my trip to Fayetteville last weekend for the SEC opening series between Arkansas and Missouri, I thirsted for more power arms. LSU at Georgia looked liked a prime opportunity with ten of our top 2019 prospects and seven of our top 2020 prospects scheduled to take the field. As a bonus, my travels to Athens took me directly through Nashville where I could catch a Thursday SEC battle between Vanderbilt and Florida which featured a dozen more of the top prospects eligible for the 2019 and 2020 drafts. As for tools and talent, here’s what I saw…

No. 49 Zach Hess, RHP, LSU- Tall and large framed at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, Hess was very impressive in Friday night’s opener, earning the W by pitching eight shutout innings (116 pitches) with nine strikeouts. During an 8th inning mound visit, he even advised Coach Mainieri that it was his gut feeling for the coach to leave him in the game and go back to the dugout. Stuff-wise, it was a similar look to last summer for the USA CNT. Hess has a high spin rate fastball which maxes out around a 2800 and averages 2550 rpm. He held his velocity throughout the game at 90-95 mph, working mostly 91-92. His slider also has a high spin rate, getting up to 2700 rpm at 80-84 mph. Although inconsistent and below average during the first two innings, he found tilt, late action and the control of it from the third inning on. Also mixed in a near average changeup at 79-82 mph, but slowed his release of the pitch at times. The biggest question from the scouting industry is whether Hess is a future starter or reliever. With a high effort delivery, non ideal arm action and a high career walk rate (4.84/9 IP) many signs point to reliever. However, on this night...

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