John Hessler (minors01)

From BR Bullpen


John Charles Hessler

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Starting pitcher John Hessler played in the Houston Astros system from 1978 to 1981.

He was initially drafted by the New York Mets in the fifth round of the January Phase of the 1977 amateur draft out of junior college, but he did not sign. He was then taken by the Astros in the third round of the 1978 amateur draft out of Tulsa, a few slots ahead of Mike Moore and Britt Burns.

He split his first season between the GCL Astros (2-4, 3.06 ERA) and Daytona Beach Astros (0-3, 6.30 ERA), going a combined 2-7 with a 3.57 ERA in 13 starts. His 43 walks (in 53 IP) were 5th-most in the Gulf Coast League. With Daytona Beach in 1979, Hessler was 8-11 with a 4.85 ERA in 25 games. Though he had 139 strikeouts and allowed only 104 hits in 130 innings, he also walked 132 batters and allowed 28 unearned runs. He led the Florida State League in in walks (34 ahead of #2 Erik Hendricks), runs allowed (98, 13 more than Gary Givens), finished third in earned runs allowed (only two behind leader Howard Bailey), tied for fourth in losses and sixth in whiffs (between Bill Scherrer and Tommy Shimp). His 28 wild pitches were 8 more than anyone else and more than double the #3 pitcher. He led Astros minor leaguers in both walks and strikeouts (15 ahead of runner-up Stan Leland).

With the Columbus Astros in 1980, Hessler was 9-7 with a 4.41 ERA in 27 starts. He pitched 153 innings and allowed only 127 hits while striking out 121 batters, but once again, his walk total was extremely high, at 135. He paced the Southern League in walks, 30 ahead of the second-worst offender, Tim Cole. He tied George Cappuzzello for 8th in the SL in Ks. He also led the league with 17 wild pitches. He led the Astros chain in walks (28 ahead of Kevin Houston), was second to Houston in wild pitches and second to Jim MacDonald in strikeouts (only 5 off the lead). He was 4-4 with a 4.83 ERA in 16 games (13 starts) for Columbus in 1981, walking 63 batters in 82 innings.

Overall, Hessler was 23-29 with a 4.50 ERA in 81 games (78 starts). He allowed 388 walks in 428 innings, while striking out 374. He threw 64 wild pitches.