Build: Athletic frame; chiseled body with strong core; maxed frame.
Mechanics: 3/4 arm slot; plus arm speed; slight stab; stands on 1B side; hips and shoulders rotate in unison; solid drive; moderate effort; slightly inverted foot on landing; head whack; flies open when he overpowers FB; quick to home; delivery times 1.35 - 1.45.
Frederick Keys (High A, Orioles)
50; Set-up Arm
Average command; heavy offering; comfortable 93-94 in first two innings; settled at 90-93 in latter innings; works inside and low often; lacks horizontal movement and FB was barreled when elevated in the 90-93 velo band; a move to the bullpen would allow for Hess to go max effort and pump the fastball 95+, which he was capable of doing early in the start with success.
Fringe command; replicates arm speed; hard tilt with sweeping action; late movement; works as his out pitch; slight refinement in release points and command boost offering to above-average.
Average command; replicates arm speed; mostly a get-me-over pitch; mild depth and spin; do not envision effectiveness on a routine basis but is capable of working as a tertiary pitch.
Average command; replicates arm speed; firm offering with very mild fade; lacks feel; lacks the movement to provide deception against stronger competition.
Hess is a college arm that has quickly risen through the Orioles' system since being drafted last season. While he has four pitches, I envision a long-term relief profile due to the lack of a secondary offering that can consistently cause deception or timing issues relative to the FB/SL. The mechanics are relatively clean, but the head whack, inverted landing, and moderate exertion lead me to believe his best role is suited for the bullpen. In this role he can maximize his FB. For the time being, I would continue to have Hess work as a starter to see if he can continue the progression of his secondary pitches.
Round Drafted: 5th round, 2014
Why: Advanced college arm with a four pitch arsenal; potential to stick as a starter; potential plus FB/SL work as a relief option.