June 11, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's junior pitcher Jason Hessler was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 31st round of the 2007 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Friday. Hessler was chosen with the 947th overall pick in the draft.
In his first two years on Hawk Hill, Hessler notched a 7-13 record in 30 appearances, including 27 starts. He has a career earned run average of 5.04 and has struck out 127 batters while walking 40 in 169.2 innings pitched.
The 6-3, 225-pound righthander missed the 2007 season due to a torn labrum in his shoulder. While not completely recovered from his injury, Hessler was able to work out for some teams in advance of the draft. "I am still not 100%," he said. "It is a long process."
In his freshman season of 2005, Hessler earned the team's Rookie of the Year award, tying for the team lead in wins and pitching 81.0 innings, the most ever by an SJU freshman. He also led the squad with four complete games. In 2006, Hessler assumed the role of staff ace, leading the team in wins, innings pitched, and strikeouts. His 88.2 innings pitched were the fourth highest single-season total in program history, and his 82 strikeouts were third best on the Saint Joseph's all-time single-season list. For his efforts, Hessler won the team's Coaches Award and was named to the inaugural All-Philadelphia Diamond Five Team.
Hessler, 20, is a criminal justice major hailing from Silver Spring, Maryland. He is the first Hawk to be drafted since pitcher Ryan Stadanlick was selected in the 10th round of the 2005 MLB Draft. In all, 20 SJU players have been chosen in the First-Year Player Draft.
Hessler has not yet made a decision about his future. "The Indians are going to be in touch," he said. "They are going to come down to Maryland to watch me throw in a game or two, so I will have a better idea then about what I am going to do in the future."
Under new rules put in place for this year's draft, Major League teams have until August 15 to sign drafted players to contracts.