Ask the Scouts | What is Zack Hess’ future as a professional prospect?

We asked two scouts and a national baseball writer if they think Zack Hess’ future is as a starter or reliever at LSU and beyond. These were their unfiltered answers:

  1. Anonymous National League Area Scout

“When you see Zack Hess, they call him Wild Thing on the mound. You like his competitiveness. He looks tough on the mound. It’s a big, physical body with a big fastball and a good slider. Some of the questions moving forward for scouts are if he’s going to be durable enough to withstand throwing every fifth day and be a starter at the Major League level. The easy route would be to fast move him through the minor leagues as a reliever and put him in the back end of the bullpen. Those are the question marks that’ll define what he’s ultimately going to be. And until we see him start at LSU, it’s going to be a 50/50 shot. Ultimately I’d like to send him out there as a starter to work on his command and see if he can do it because there’s more value with that kind of stuff in a starting role, but I also think he could be a dynamite, Craig Kimbrel-type closer.”

  1. Kendall Rodgers | Managing Editor,

“If he can show he can maintain 91-93 (miles per hour) and bump 94 as a starter, you start to look at him a little bit differently as a prospect. But honestly I think the bullpen is Zack’s wheelhouse. You look at his swagger and approach, it’s such a reliever mentality. So all these guys get enamored with being a starter, but you look at how electric Zack is in the bullpen, he projects as a reliever at the next level, and personally I think that’s the best fit for him. Then again, maybe he just blows everybody away this year and things start to change from a prospect standpoint. I hate to discount him because he’s such a hard-nosed guy. He’s one of those guys where you discount him and he’ll make you look like an idiot.”

  1. Nathan Rode | National Supervisor, Prep Baseball Report

“That’s the thing about scouting and projecting; the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think with an arm like that and the secondary stuff that he has, you have to give him a chance as a starter in my mind. You at least try it. That being said, because of the stuff and that competitive demeanor, he has that look of being a dominant reliever that’s going to come out of the bullpen with daggers coming out of his eyes. He can be a shutdown guy in that aspect. I can see it both ways. I might lean toward his penultimate future, when it’s all said and done, being in a bullpen role, but it’s hard to turn away from that stuff and seeing what it can do over 7+ innings.”

About James Moran 1377 Articles
James Moran was Editor of Tiger Rag from August 2018 to October 2019. He previously served as the associate editor since 2014. He is a graduate of the LSU Manship School of Journalism.

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