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 Mike Hessman career tracker

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PostSubject: Mike Hessman career tracker   Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:06 pm

Last Updated: December 08. 2009 12:22PM
Mets sign slugger Mike Hessman from Tigers
Tony Paul / The Detroit News

Indianapolis -- Mike Hessman is now a former Tiger.

The Mets have signed the infielder, the New York Daily News reported.

Hessman, 31, got a minor league deal -- no surprise, since he's spent the bulk of his 14-year professional career in the minors. Adam Rubin of the Daily News says Hessman gets $90,000 at Triple A, $425,000 (or essentially the minimum) in the majors.

He spent five years in the Tigers organization, from 2005-09; they signed him as a free agent in 2005 after the team that drafted him -- the Braves in the 15th round in 1996 -- let him walk.

Hessman hit .217 at Triple-A Toledo last season, with 23 homers and 77 RBIs. He hasn't played in the majors since a 12-game stint with the Tigers in 2008 -- he homered five times in those 12 games, but power's never been an issue.

He's topped 20 homers 11 times in his career, with a high of 39 two years ago -- those five with the Tigers and 34 with the Mud Hens. But he's a free swinger who for every home run he hits -- and he's belted 311 in the minors, many of them moon shots -- he strikes out six times.

His career average is .208 in MLB, 229 in the minors.

Hessman plays mostly third base, but has played some first base and outfielder during his career.

tpaul@detnews.com


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson


Last edited by TigersForever on Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Mike Hessman career tracker   Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:35 am



7/28/10: Mike Hessman doubles down the line in left, scoring Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan in the first inning

Every callup a fresh chance for Hessman
Now with Mets, Minors homers leader in 15th pro season

By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com

07/28/10 8:42 PM ET

NEW YORK -- It's a distinction he never wanted, a dose of fame he never tried to claim. Mike Hessman is the active leader in Minor League home runs, a testament to his skill, persistence and dedication in one respect. In another, it's a constant reminder of his inability to break through and stick at the game's highest level.

Hessman, playing through his 15th professional season and his third organization, can appreciate the simple things more than most. The corner infielder has hit 329 home runs in the Minor Leagues -- 219 of them in the Triple-A International League -- and he still treats every trip to the big leagues like a breakthrough.

Take this season, for instance. Hessman was leading the International League in home runs (18) and RBIs (57) when he went down with a stress fracture in his right hand. The veteran spent more than a month on the disabled list, and after returning, he played a week with Triple-A Buffalo before getting promoted to the Mets.

"It was definitely unexpected," said Hessman, who doubled high off the left-field wall against the Cardinals, driving in two runs, Wednesday for his first big league hit of the season. "I got hurt and I was out for about five or six weeks, so I was just starting to get back into it. And then when I got the call, I was excited, and I feel ready to step in there and help the team win a couple ballgames."

For Hessman, that feeling comes naturally. The 32-year-old began his career in Atlanta's organization, and he steadily rose through the system over the first five years of his professional career. Hessman hit just .198 in 2000 in his first taste of Double-A Greenville, and he returned the next season to hit .230 with 26 home runs.

Hessman finally broke through the next season at Triple-A Richmond, and he hit well enough over the next two seasons to merit two brief callups to the parent club. Hessman got 26 at-bats with the Braves in 2003 and 69 more in 2004, and the latter total still represents his most extensive experience at the Major League level.

Hessman was eligible for Minor League free agency after the '04 season, and he moved to Detroit's organization in order to better position himself. And while his career kicked into overdrive -- winning Triple-A championships with Toledo in 2005 and '06 and the International League MVP Award in '07 -- he never really took the next step.

Hessman -- who hit at least 23 home runs in five straight seasons for Toledo -- got brief callups to the Major Leagues in both 2007 and 2008, batting .256 with nine home runs in 78 at-bats. The Tigers never had room for him to stick as a bench player in those years, but he never let his frustration get in the way of his ambition.

"I just knew that I could still play the game and still help teams win ballgames, and that's what kept me going," said Hessman, a 15th-round draftee back in 1996. "Obviously, I've been doing baseball my whole life, so it's something I still enjoy and have fun at. Once I stop having fun, then I'll look at something else.

"There are always ups and downs in the game, but nothing that's made me contemplate anything else. That's for sure."

Hessman made a big leap last winter, leaving the Tigers for a chance to establish himself in a new organization. And while it was strange at first, Hessman said it's been rewarding to link up with the Mets.

"There was a big comfort level to being with the Tigers," he said. "I had been over there for five years, and what a great organization. I met some really great people in the front office and with the guys down at Triple-A in Larry Parrish and Leon Durham. We had a really good time when we were there. I actually just left Toledo, and it was my first time going back there before I got called up. It was real strange going in there [as a visitor]. It kind of felt like home."

Hessman made his first start with New York on Wednesday, and the Mets seem poised to feed him some playing time at first base against lefties. The Minor League veteran even got off a good quip in the hours before the game, when he was asked if he'd change anything. "Same game," he said. "Just some more people watching."

"From what I understand, he's average defensively," added manager Jerry Manuel. "Most of his career has been at third base, and a couple springs ago, we saw a pretty good third baseman when he was with the Tigers. He made some nice plays against us over there. But from what I understand and what the reports are, he's adequate."

Hessman, who went into Wednesday's game as a career .207 hitter in 169 big league at-bats, saw the difference in the crowd virtually immediately. The slugger lined a ball off the left-field wall -- a shot that came around a foot or two from traveling over the fence for a grand slam -- and received a hearty ovation from the crowd at Citi Field.

Hessman expects his wife and daughter to meet up with the team next week in Atlanta, and after that, he hopes to have them around for the rest of the season. Then again, he knows how fleeting his callup may be.

"I'm very appreciative of it, and I know how hard the road can be to get here," said Hessman of his promotion. "Obviously, the guys that get here quick are the superstars of the game and they stay here for a while. For the guys that have been around a while, grinding it out, it's always special when you get that call again."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Mike Hessman career tracker   Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:07 am

Mike Hessman
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael Steven Hessman (born March 5, 1978, in Fountain Valley, California) is a first baseman who is in the Detroit Tigers organization. He is the current active leader in career minor league home runs with 370 through the end of the 2012 season, including 266 at the AAA level.[

Hessman was originally drafted out of Mater Dei High School in the 15th round (452nd overall) by the Atlanta Braves in the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft.[2]

Hessman spent eight years in the Braves organization before making his major league debut on August 22, 2003. His first major league hit was a pinch-hit home run on August 26, 2003, off New York Mets pitcher Mike Stanton.[3]

He signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers on January 7, 2005. He played for the Tigers' Triple-A team, the Toledo Mud Hens for the whole season. He hit 28 home runs, and helped the Mud Hens win the Governors' Cup, the trophy awarded to the International League champion.

In 2006, Hessman would again spend the whole season with the Mud Hens, hitting 24 home runs, one every 14.38 at-bats, but only batting .165 for the season, as the Mud Hens won the second of their back-to-back International League championships.

In 2007, Hessman began the year for the Mud Hens again, and on June 1 hit his 68th home run as a Mud Hen, becoming Toledo's all time home run leader, passing Erve Beck. Hessman had his contract purchased by the Tigers on July 23, marking the first time he had been on a Major League roster since 2004. He had already hit 27 home runs for the Mud Hens, one every 13.19 at-bats. He had led the International League in home runs at the time of his call-up.[citation needed]

Hessman led the International League in both home runs (31) and RBIs (110), and on August 28, 2007, was named the 2007 International League's Most Valuable Player, the first Mud Hen to receive the award since 1996.[4]

Hessman was a member of the Tigers organization again in 2008, and spent the beginning of the season in Toledo. On July 16, 2008, Hessman was named to the United States national baseball team for the 2008 Summer Olympics.[5] Hessman still ended up hitting 34 home runs for the Hens despite missing a month for the Olympics. Hessman was called up by Detroit on September 2, and played in 12 games for the Tigers, hitting .296 with 5 home runs. On September 4, 2009, Hessman played all nine positions while with the Toledo Mud Hens. He started at catcher and ended as the pitcher, blowing a save and picking up a loss. In October 2009, Hessman became a free agent.

On December 8, 2009, Hessman signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets.[6] The Mets assigned Hessman to the AAA Buffalo Bisons.

On July 26, 2010, he was called up to replace Rod Barajas, who strained his right oblique. He spent the remainder of the season with the Mets, but played in only 32 games.

On November 10, 2010, Hessman and Omir Santos refused their minor league assignment and then became free agents.[7] Hessman would later sign with the Orix Buffaloes for the 2011 season.

In late November 2012 the Reds signed Hessman to a minor league deal. He was assigned to the Louisiville Bats by the Reds, on April 1, 2013. On December 2, 2013 The Detroit Tigers signed Hessman to a minor league deal.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson


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PostSubject: Re: Mike Hessman career tracker   Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:11 pm

11/25/13Detroit Tigers signed free agent 1B Mike Hessman to a minor league contract.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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