Photo Credit: USA Today

Get To Know The Baby Birds: David Hess

February 15, 2019 - 8:03 am

By Joe Schiller

As we’ve begun to profile the up-and-coming Orioles players you should become familiar with these offseason, the early focus has been on minor leaguers. Rightfully so, as the Orioles continue to build their farm system with a bulk of prospects. 

But 25-year-old RHP David Hess is one of the young players already at the major league level who was thrusted into a starting role last season and he'll look to build off the struggles. 

A former 5th-round pick by the Orioles in 2014, Hess made his major league debut last season, starting 19 games for the Orioles on the mound. He was underwhelming during that span, going 3-10 with a 4.88 ERA. Stats almost seem dismissive in this case given the overall downfall of last season for the team as a whole.

Hess was put into a very tough situation to succeed during his rookie year.

However, there were plenty of positives that go beyond the box score. In five starts last season, Hess pitched into at least the sixth inning, giving up one earned run or less. The Orioles still lost all five of those games.

Pitchers and catchers reported to Sarasota, Florida this week for the start of Spring Training. Hess will be among the young players fighting for a spot in the starting rotation along with Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner and Dylan Bundy. There's a strong chance will see him in the No. 4 or No. 5 spot come Opening Day. 

It’s a brand new season and a fresh slate for Hess, who put together strong starts last season. If the run support can come with it, Hess could be a key contributor to the starting rotation in 2019.