Prep Baseball Report




Louisiana State
Liberty Christian Academy (HS) • VA
6' 6" • 215LBS
2016 National

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2016 State

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2019 DRAFT Tigers ROUND 7th PICK
2018 DRAFT Braves ROUND 34 PICK
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10/2015: Committed to LSU

2016 MLB Draft, taken in the 35th Round by the Yankees

6.10.16:  Hess’s fastball sat 89-91, touching 92. He showed a two-seamer that was 87. His hard 10/4 slider was 77-82. He didn’t have his best command and the strike zone was inconsistent, but he did a good job of not getting frustrated and competing.

3.19.16:  Hess is a big righty with a projectable athletic frame. He throws from a low three-quarters arm slot with a quick drop and drive delivery. Hess has a longer, loose arm action and a lightning quick arm and he generates velocity with some effort. His shoulders are uphill and closed as he strides out to a square landing before falling off a bit as he finishes and recoiling. Hess’s fastball worked 89-93 and touched 94 in his three innings of work. The pitch had some angle from his frame and slot as well as late boring action. He only threw his change-up in warm-ups, and the pitch had fading action with very good armspeed. His slider was very good and had power 10/4 break, running 79-82.

De-committed from Virginia Tech in September, 2015.

Zach Hess is a tall and lanky 6-foot-5 with outstanding arm speed on the mound that is committed to Virginia Tech.  Has made a huge velocity jump since last fall and is consistently in the upper-80's and low 90's.  Mechanically, there are some moving parts, but with time, Hess has the chance to be best pitching prospect in the 2016 class with the highest ceiling. 

3.24.15:  Hess was the designated hitter on the day, but had a huge impact on the game. He has an athletic frame that he could still add some weight too. He has a bit of a long swing from the right side, but makes up for it with quick hands that generate good bat speed and homerun power. He has good balance to his set-up and finishes high. He showed the strength that he has at the plate in his first at bat, getting fisted on a pitch in that he was still able to muscle into leftfield for a hit. In his last at-bat he squared up a fastball up in the zone and launched it for home run to left-center.

3/21/19: 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, he had the results of a future starter by holding his velocity for eight innings, mixing three pitches (mostly FB/SL) for strikes and did not walk a batter. Most likely Hess will be selected in the early rounds of the draft by the team who thinks he's a potential starter. If that role doesn't work out, he profiles well into the back end of a MLB bullpen with a plus to better fastball (velocity should jump up in a short role) and an above average-to-plus slider. (Seifert)

6/29/18As a sophomore-eligible prospect, Hess was drafted in the 31st round by Atlanta this June. However, he has already announced his intention to return to LSU for his junior season. He is a tall, extra large framed righty with an aggressive pitching approach and plenty of effort with a head whack in his delivery. He looks to have improved his direction and the ability to drive the ball downhill into the strike zone from my last evaluation in February of this year. Fastball ranged from 91-94 mph, touching 95 one time. He added an average-to-above average slider at 80-83 mph which showed rotation. Pitched two innings, allowed no hits and no runs while striking out one of the six batters he faced. Expect Hess to continue to improve and be considered for the top rounds in the 2019 draft. (Seifert)

2/27/18After a shaky start during Opening Weekend against Notre Dame, Hess returned with a vengeance against the Longhorns. He dominated with his plus slider which sat 80-84 mph and a fastball which ranged from 90-94. Despite a high effort delivery with a head whack, he maintained his velocity (92-93 in the sixth) and control for all six innings pitched. Talent-wise, Hess is a top round pick. However, as a draft-eligible sophomore by age, it will be interesting to see his signability come June. (Seifert)

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