Mike Hessman isn't all that impressed with numbers. He's more interested in getting good swings and being patient at the plate, something he's made major strides with this season. That said, the numbers the Buffalo third baseman is compiling are absurd.
Hessman hit two more home runs Thursday, including a walkoff shot in the 10th, as the Bisons beat Toledo, 8-7, at Coca-Cola Field. Pretty hard to believe this one but Hessman said his game-winner was the first walkoff his minor-league career. And keep in mind he has 327 homers in 15 seasons. No walkoffs? Wow.
Here's the latest rundown of Hessman's stats heading into Thursday night's schedule in the big leagues:
---He has 16 HRs, second in all of pro ball to the 17 by Double-A Jacksonville's Mike Stanton (Toronto's Jose Bautista has 15 for the MLB lead).
---Hessman leads the pros in RBIs with 51 (Class A Lexington's Kody Hinze has 50, Texas' Vladimir Guerrro is the MLB leader with 42).
---Hesssman also leads in extra-base hits with 32 (Philadelphia's Jayson Werth is next with 31).
Get this: The Bisons' leader in RBIs and extra-base hits last year was Mike Lamb, with 53 and 36, respectively. Hessman has nearly caught those totals. He's nearly halfway to the franchise records for home runs (34) and RBIs (103) set in 1998 by Alex Ramirez and we're only at game 47, not even at Memorial Day.
Crazy. Click below to hear Hessman's postgame meeting with the media Thursday. References to "LP" are to Toledo manager Larry Parrish and "Bull" is Mud Hens hitting coach Leon "Bull" Durham, the former Chicago Cubs star.---Mike Harrington
(Photo: Hessman, 27, celebrates with teammates at home plate Thursday/James P. McCoy-Buffalo News)
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