Mike Hessman: All Time Minor League HR King & Late 2000's Mets Utility Player (2010)

Michael Steven Hessman
was born March 5th, 1978, in Fountain Valley, California. 

In 1996, the six-foot five inch, two hundred fifteen-pound right hand hitter was drafted by the Atlanta Braves. 

Minor League Slugger: From 1997 through 2002 Hessman hit 19 or more HRs each season in the minor leagues. In 2001 & 2002 he blasted 26 HRs in each season. But the power also came with low batting averages as well as a lot of strike outs. Hessman struck out 125 times or more for six straight minor league season. 

MLB Career: In August of 2003 he was brought up to the Braves big league club. On August 26th, in his second career game Hessman hit a 9th inning pinch hit HR off Mike Stanton & the New York Mets. The HR brought the Braves within a run, although the Mets prevailed 6-5. 

Two games later he hit another HR but would not hit another in his next 19 games of the year. In 21 at bats, he hit .286 with two HRs & three RBIs. 

In 2004 Hessman made the club out of Spring Training, he struggled & by July was batting just .130 with two HRs. He was sent back down to AAA Richmond where he hit .287.

He was granted free agency & signed with the Detroit Tigers where he spent five seasons in their organization. He spent most of his time playing with the AAA Toledo Mud Hens, with 29 games over parts of two seasons with the Tigers.

In 2006 he was a member of the Mud Hen's Championship team hitting 24 HRs. 

Mud Hens HR Record: In 2007, Hessman hit 31 HRs for Toledo. On June 1st he hit his 68th career HR for the Mud Hens breaking a 107-year-old record. That year he won the International League MVP, becoming one of just four Mud Hens (including Met Tim Teufel) to win the award.

In 2008 Hessman hit 34 HRs for the AAA Toledo Mud Hens despite missing time playing for the U.S. Olympic Team in Beijing. In an early September game, he played all nine positions in a game for the AAA Toledo Mud Hens. 

In December 2009 he signed with the New York Mets as a free agent. 

Mets Career-2010: Hessman began the year at AAA Buffalo, where he hit .274 leading the Bisons with 18 HRs, tying for the team lead in RBIs (58) with Russ Adams. Hessman was brought up to the Mets at the end of July.

On July 27th, Hessman debuted as a Met popping up as a pinch hitter in an 8-2 win over the Cardinals.

The next day he got a start at first base & hit a two run double off Jamie Garcia in a wild 8-7 loss to the Cardinals at Shea. 

On August 5th Hessman hit his first Mets HR, a three-run shot off the Phillies J.C. Romero in a 7-5 loss. 

Hessman struggled not driving in any more runs or hitting any HRs, never got his batting average back over the .200 mark. Overall, he played in 32 games mostly used as a pinch hitter batting .127 with one HR & six RBIs. 

He struck out 23 times & walked eight times in 55 at bats. Defensively he played eight games at third base & six games at first base. 

Nippon Professional Baseball: After the season he refused a minor league assignment & was granted free agency. In 2011 he played in Japan for the Orix Buffaloes in their Pacific League.

Post Mets Career:
In 2012 he signed with the Houston Astros played in the minor leagues, at AAA Oklahoma City hitting 35 HRs with 78 RBIs, batting .231. 
In 2013 he played for the Cincinnati Reds at AAA Louisville hitting 25 more HRs. In 2015 he finished his career with AAA Toledo hitting 16 more HRs.

All Time Minor League HR King: On August 3rd, 2015, Hessman hit a record 433 career HR against Lehigh Valley's Dustin McGowan making him the All-Time Minor League HR King. The Mud Hens honored him in a pre-game ceremony that season.

At the end of the season, he retired after a 19-year career. In 2094 minor league games, he hit 433 HRs with 1207 RBIs batting .233 with 1758 hits in 2094 games.

MLB Career Stats: In five MLB seasons he hit .188 with 14 HRs 8 doubles 33 RBIs with 79 strike outs, 21 walks, a .272 on base % & .694 OPS in 109 games.

Family: Mike & his wife Sabrina have one daughter.

Retirement: After his playing days Hessman became a minor league hitting coach. In 2019 he started a two-year stint as the Toledo Mud Hens hitting coach. 

In June 2021 he coached on the Tigers big league team thru 2022 then returned to the Mud Hens in 2023.


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