Astros farmhand Mike Hessman is having a big year at Oklahoma City. The RedHawks 1B/DH is producing some monstrous power numbers in his 17th minor league season. The 34 year-old Hessman has connected for 27 homers on the year, 14 of them coming in the month of June and earning him player of the month honors. Hessman has a .260/.318/.580 slash line and 59 RBIs in 79 games.
Hessman is no stranger to the longball. The big guy (6′ 5″, 215 lbs) has accumulated 356 homers in his minor league career. Failure to make consistent contact has limited Hesman to only a few short stints in the majors, most recently with the Mets in 2010. Hessman has nearly 2,000 strikeouts in the minors and fanned in 79 of his 250 big league plate appearances.
Those kind of strikeout numbers are comparable to those of this year’s Astros squad, making Hessman a natural fit for the middle of the Astros batting order. Might we see him called up to the show in the near future? The Astros need a replacement for Carlos Lee at 1B and Jeff Luhnow has been hesitant to recall Brett Wallace. Why not give Hessman a shot? What have we got to lose?
Hessman and his RedHawks teammates downed the Omaha Storm Chasers 7-6 in 10 innings Tuesday to go to 56-40 for the season. Fernando Martinez homered in the top of the tenth to give Oklahoma City the lead. David Carpenter came in and closed the door, earning his third save since being sent down at the All-Star break. Brett Wallace also connected for a homerun, his 14th.