TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The top 2021 prospect out of the state of Illinois has committed to Alabama baseball, BamaCentral has confirmed.
Right-handed pitcher Ben Hess of Charleston High School decommitted from Indiana earlier this month. Hess had been committed to the Hoosiers since 2019, but is now committed to the Crimson Tide.
Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 215 pounds, Hess provides quite an imposing presence on the mound. While he has been garnering a high level of interest from pro scouts, sources say that Crimson Tide head coach Brad Bohannon and his staff are confident that he will bypass the MLB Draft in favor of attending Alabama this fall.
Should Hess play for the Crimson Tide next spring season, he will no doubt be in the running for a weekend starting spot from day one. Hess has routinely shown the ability to throw a 96-miles-per-hour fastball and can nail the strike zone with a high degree of consistency.
According to Prep Baseball Report, Hess is the No. 1 recruit in the state of Illinois and the No. 133 prospect in the nation. While he is coming off of a pars fracture in his back, Hess looked to be back at 100-percent recently in a 40-pitch bullpen performance.
His fastball typically sits between 93-95 mph but has been able to top out at 96 mph. He has great command over his pitches, a benefit that will no doubt immediately impact the strength of the Crimson Tide's starting rotation following a 2021 season where control from a shallow — albeit injured — rotation was lacking.
Hess also commands a 75-77 mph curveball and possesses an 80-82 mph slider and with a rotation of approximately 2200-2345 rotations per minute. Combined with an 83-85 mph changeup thrown at fastball arm speed, and Hess has all the tools that Bohannon is looking for to add to his 2022 squad.