Improving the Mental Side, Leaving it all On the Mound, RHP David Hess Chats with Baby Birdland

One of the things that we here at Baby Birdland really love is that we get to chat with a lot of Baltimore Orioles' minor leaguers and recently we had the opportunity to chat with right-handed pitching prospect David Hess.

Photo: Patrick Cavey

Hess, 23, is having a nice rebound season after a bit of a shaky 2016, which was his first at the AA level. He was drafted by the Orioles in the fifth round of the 2014 MLB Draft.

As our contributing writer Nick Stevens pointed out recently,
In seven appearances for the Baysox (six starts), Hess has compiled a 5-1 record with a 3.49 ERA. He has struck out 31 and walked just 12 batters, while holding hitters to a .231 batting average. Righties are currently hitting a measly .200 against Hess. These numbers show a lot of promise for the 6’2” RHP out of Tennessee Tech, who needs a successful rebound year after struggling in his first full year at the Double A level (5-13, 5.37 ERA).
The turnaround from last season has been tremendous. Hess’s WHIP is down (1.58 to 1.19), and his ground ball percentage has ticked up slightly. Additionally, his opponents’ batting average is down from .310 to .231. What stands out to me, though,  is the amount of home runs Hess has given up. In 127 innings or work last year, Hess gave up 19 home runs, compared to just three in 38.2 innings in 2017.
Let's get to the interview shall we?

Baby Birdland: from our contributing writer Nick, I'd like to know what adjustments you made from last year to this year that's contributed to your success this year.
I focused a lot this off-season on the mental side of the game and ways to improve and grow in that and so far that's paid off and helped tremendously. I also moved back to the 3rd base side of the rubber to create more natural angle and deception which has also worked nicely so far

Baby Birdland: Being at AA and in the Orioles organization, you have to know you're one phone call away right?
I think all the guys in AA and AAA know how close they are but that's something you can't pay too much attention to. The main focus is going out and pitching as best as you can and focusing on the the day to day things to improve and let the rest handle itself.

Baby Birdland: What has been your favorite Orioles Minor League spot so far?
I've really enjoyed playing at all the affiliates so far so it's hard to pick a favorite, but I really enjoyed my summer in Aberdeen and the adjustment to pro ball a lot.

Baby Birdland: Outside of Family, who has been your biggest supporter?
Hands down my wife. She's been an incredible support and encouragement and has helped me get through a lot. I'm more grateful for her than I can put into words!

Baby Birdland: For O's fans who haven't seen you pitch, how would you describe your pitching style?
It's always a challenge to accurately describe yourself, but I would say most importantly I'm a competitor and I'm going to leave it out on that mound for my team. I'd say my pitching style is more of a power pitcher.

Baby Birdland: From our contributing writer Chuck, What was your welcome to professional baseball moment?
One of my favorite welcome to pro ball moments was actually exactly that, a welcome to pro ball. When I got drafted in 2014, me and a couple other guys and our families got to fly up to Baltimore and we got introduced during an Orioles game at Camden Yards. It was a very surreal experience to get to do that and share that experience with my family!

Baby Birdland: Last one for you, what sport other than baseball is your favorite and why?
I've always liked football a lot. Growing up that's something I watched a lot and spent time with family and friends doing so it brings back good memories and I love watching it.

We would like to thank David for taking the time to chat with us for a bit, and we highly recommend keeping an eye on him as he progresses because he is not far away.


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