You may not know much about David Hess.
That might change soon.
Since being selected in the 5th round of the 2014 draft, David Hess has been a minor league pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. Of course, being a minor league pitcher for the Orioles isn’t exactly a promising proposition. While the Oriole’s organization has preached the importance of developing homegrown pitchers, their on-field success hasn’t matched their hopes. According to Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun, the last homegrown Oriole pitcher to make his major league debut as a starter was Mike Wright Jr. back on May 17, 2015. The last one before that was Kevin Gausman in May of 2013.
Few expected David Hess to be the one to break that drought. The Orioles have higher rating pitching prospects, such as 2013 1st round pick Hunter Harvey, 2014 6th round pick Tanner Scott, 2016 first round pick Cody Sedlock, 2016, 2nd round pick Keegan Akin, and 2017 first overall pick DL Hall. None of them has earned a major league start as of this writing. As their names have grace the top of Orioles prospects list, hovering in the mid-twenties has been another player; David Hess. While never considered a top prospect, Hess has quietly put in the work and found success.
In the middle of 2017, people started to notice.
After putting together yet another solid season as a 24-year old in AA Bowie, Hess began making people notice. He entered 2018 as the Orioles #16 prospect, according to MLB.com. Hess has been off to a good start in the minors this year, posting a 2.12 ERA and a 2-0 record in 6 starts for AAA Norfolk.
On Thursday, May 10, Hess received news. The Orioles would be playing a doubleheader the following Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays, and he would be added to the major league roster. In what capacity, he didn’t yet know. It wasn’t until Buck Showalter’s post-game conference after Friday’s game that it was announced that Hess would get the start.
Hess was ecstatic! His wife, Devin, his mom and dad, and 24 additional friends and family members would be in Baltimore to watch his start. When he first stepped on the mound, however, things didn’t go the way he planned.
His first inning as a major league pitcher was a rough one. After allowing CJ Cron and Joey Wendle to reach base, Hess surrender a 3-run homer to Matt Duffy. After that, however, he settled down, going 5 more innings without allowing a run. He picked up the win over Rays starter Chris Archer.
Hess knows that his major league debut, and everything in his life, is a gift from God. One of his favorite Bible Verses is Lamentations 3:22-23: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Hess said on Twitter; New day, new mercies. Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us His grace is never short and always sufficient. Hess will continue to rely on the mercies of God, be thankful for the gifts that God has given him and strive to keep God 1st in his life. He also tweeted; The more we see that God is enough, the more we can be thankful for what He’s given and trust Him when He doesn’t.”
It will be exciting to see what God does next in Hess’ life. Orioles fans are hoping to see him in action again soon and see what he can do next on the mound. George Batterbsy of Camden Chat wrote the following Monday; “David Hess has earned more of a chance with the Orioles. After throwing a quality start in his MLB debut as the 26th man in Saturday’s doubleheader, it’s time to put David Hess in the rotation for real.”
Whatever happens next, Hess will trust in God and rely each day on His mercies.