Drew Hayes came into 2012 after a dominating year out of the Dayton Dragons bullpen where he worked as the closer on most nights. With Dayton he saved 22 games while posting a 1.35 ERA in 60 innings with 27 walks and 89 strikeouts. The Reds held him and a few others back from promotions during 2011 to try and keep the team together for a strong run. To make up for that, they pushed Hayes to Pensacola and entirely skipped him over Advanced-A.

Hayes struggled in April overall, though it was mostly the first week of the season where he struggled. Between April 6th and April 13th he allowed 7 earned runs in 4.2 innings with 4 walks and 5 strikeouts. He improved over the rest of the month, allowing 4 runs in 7 innings with 4 walks and 10 strikeouts. He finished the month with a 6.16 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP over 11.2 innings. Hayes had 8 walks and 15 strikeouts. The walks were high but he was missing bats at a high rate.

May was a good month for the right handed reliever. For the first two and a half weeks Hayes was very strong, but had back-to-back games on the 19th and 20th where he gave up a total of 3 runs in just an inning of work. He finished up the month with a 3.28 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 11 innings while walking 7 and striking out 14. The overall numbers were better than in April, but his walk rate was once again much higher than you would like but once again had a high strikeout rate.

June was perhaps the strongest month of the season for Hayes. He only gave up 2 runs on the month over 12.2 innings. He posted a 1.42 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP with 4 walks and 11 strikeouts. The walk rate was down, which was a good sign. The strikeout rate was also down, but was still in a good range that just wasn’t as good as the previous two months.

July was a mixed bag for Hayes. His ERA was strong as he finished with a 2.93 mark, but his WHIP was a bit high at 1.43 and he walked 8 batters with 15 strikeouts in 15.1 innings pitched.  Again he saw a higher walk rate after a nice month of June, but again saw a good strikeout rate that was a little lower than the one he posted in the first two months.

The last month of the season was much like July in that it was a mixed bag. His 3.55 ERA was solid, but he walked 11 and struck out just 9 in 12.2 innings on the month with a 1.58 WHIP. His walk rate was easily the worst of the season and his walk rate was easily the highest. Perhaps he was tiring down the stretch.

2 3 1 63.1 53 3 38 64 3.41 1.44 13.8% 23.3% 1.7

Overall Thoughts

Drew Hayes has outstanding stuff with an above-average fastball and a strong slider. Control has been a concern with him in the past and this year that was also another real struggle of his with nearly a 14% walk rate on the season. If he can cut down his walk rate to somewhere below 10%, he has a chance to be a good 8th inning reliever. However without being able to cut down on the walks, his good strikeout rate and ability to keep the ball on the ground will be limited by his control and he will likely be one of the first guys out of the bullpen rather than a late inning type. He could begin 2013 in either Pensacola or Louisville.


27 Responses

  1. zblakey

    Whats the status of Lotzkar? Anyone know how long his injury is going to keep him out this spring?

      • Doug Gray

        He had a bit of an arm issue at the end of last year. He mentioned at Redsfest that he wasn’t 100% still. It will be interesting to see how much work, if any, he gets, when the big league guys start games.

  2. The Duke

    I think we see Hayes in Louisville, but he won’t sniff the majors this year because of the Reds bullpen depth. He really needs to focus on lowering that walk rate if he wants to be a major leaguer.

    • MK

      Duke, I think they will let him close at Pensacola. In addition to him needing it I think he has a real positive connection with Delino DeShields that could help his confidence and development.

  3. DaveCT

    Draft notes on Hayes were that his fastball was a bit flat — any updates on this do you know?

    I can still see where Hayes may have a leg up on guys like Ravin, Crabbe, Christiani, Pearl, etc, due to their control issues, not so much on Partch and Rogers, with the bullpen sweepstakes in AA/AAA.

    Sleepers in this, however, I think are Michael Dennhardt and of course Langfield (if he doesn’t stay starting), both New England guys, cold weather pitchers (shameless plug). Dennhardt was seen as a high pick before TJ surgery, and seemed to do well last year.

    • Doug Gray

      Because of his arm action, he probably isn’t ever going to get much run/tail on his fastball. But his groundball rate was up compared to past seasons, so he was more effective in some way with the pitch.

  4. sultan of swaff

    Hayes is very over the top. Don’t see that as much anymore. Because of that, his slider seems to act more like a curve and not move away from hitters but down in the zone.

    Doug, small quibble here, could you include the age of the players you profile?

    His stats vs. lefties look pretty weak. Does that make him a situational reliever at best?

    • Doug Gray

      I will try to remember next Thursday night to post the age with the players profile.

      I don’t have his splits at hand right now. Most relievers who are just two pitch guys will typically be “situational” because they lack the breaking ball or change up to use against one side of the plate.

  5. Drew

    Very nice site . Hayes is someone the organization likes very much . He has nice velocity , and his over the top curve/slider is a plus pitch. Throwing strikes is something he needs to focus on this year. Rather see him in AA and work work work. The reds should be very happy AA pen and starters(Corcino, Cingrani and company) all look good and the pen with de la rosa, and Manno from the left side and two big righty arms in Partch Ravin. Throw in Freeemen who had a very good season and serrano. I think the reds AA and AAA staf should be strong

    • Doug Gray

      Thanks for the kind words about the site.

      The pitching staffs between AA and AAA should have plenty of real intriguing guys in both the rotation and the bullpen. Partch, Ravin and Hayes are true wild cards that could really turn into something from the bullpen.

  6. Herbie

    Hey Doug, I was wondering about your thoughts on many Parra pitching in GABP. I like the signing, I just don’t know if I like it for the Reds. He has a solid xFIP despite an ugly career ERA, but he also has an ugly HR/FB%. It’s only 30 innings, but he has a 4.5 ERA at GABP and gave up six dingers. It’s a good low-risk move, but does he have a reasonable chance at success pitching in GABP?

    • Doug Gray

      Parra is a pretty big groundball pitcher. If he can keep the walk rate in check, he should be a good asset. The walk rate is and has been a concern in the past.

  7. Krozley

    MLBTradeRumors.com has a list of those with less than 5 years service time who are out of options. For the Reds:

    Jose Arredondo, Homer Bailey, Jason Donald, Jack Hannahan, Xavier Paul, Alfredo Simon.

  8. DaveCT

    Some other interesting names on that list. among others … Travis Wood, Franklin Morales, Andrew Miller, Trevor Plouffe, John Mayberry, Jordan Schafer, Daric Barton,Tyler Greene,

  9. DaveCT

    From Cafardo’s Boston Globe Sunday column:

    From the Bill Chuck files: “In case you didn’t notice, over the last two seasons, Johnny Cueto is 28-14 with a 2.58 ERA and a 1.137 WHIP while Felix Hernandez is 27-23 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.181 WHIP.”

    • Doug Gray

      Felix Hernandez faces the DH. He also has 465.2 innings.
      Cueto faces pitchers. He also has 373 innings.

      Hernandez > Cueto.

      • BobcatRedsFan

        Hernandez also pitches his home games in Seattle, so the DH doesn’t make that big a difference. Plus, the number 9 hitters on many AL teams are terrible, they just aren’t called on to sacrifice as often as pitchers are in the NL. If you believe that sacrifices are usually a bad strategy then yeah it’s a real help to the AL pitchers. But if you believe they are sound baseball strategy then its a wash between the two when you factor in park size.

        I think Hernandez is a better pitcher than Cueto, but I don’t think he’s trending in the right direction and I would never have signed the deal that seattle did.

        That said, I think Johnny has become a lot better than I even hoped going back to 2008/2009. I just don’t think he’ll ever be as good as Felix is at his best. I just don’t think that pitcher shows up as often this season.

      • Doug Gray

        The DH makes a huge difference. The DH is usually one of the two best hitters on the team. The pitcher is far and away the worst and the guys pinch hitting for them are also usually among the worst on the team (or they would be starting somewhere).

        The ballpark of course matters some. Seattle is quite pitcher friendly. Not like Cincinnati, which is quite hitter friendly (at least for home runs – it actually costs you singles, doubles and triples). With that said, Felix is better on the road than at home. Which is pretty interesting and you have to wonder why that is given that Seattle is indeed quite pitcher friendly and his defenses aren’t changing just because he goes on the road.

  10. Kevin

    Missed AQA this week, but Doug when you get a chance can you explain your reasoning as to why you think Chapman starts the year out of the bullpen?

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to cap his starting IP at X, and his total IP at Y and then just have him pitch Y-X IP from the bullpen at the back end rather than the front-end, as you’re predicting?

    I think starting him first and finishing him in the bullpen means there’s a greater shot of him actually starting. I feel like if they begin the season with him in the BP, Baker will find a way to keep him there.

    Speaking of that, it bothers me that the manager of a team is so outspoken about his opposition to an organization’s plan for a player. It’s so transparently selfish on Dusty’s part to want Chapman as a closer, and it concerns me that he will undermine the long term strategy of the club both consciously and subconsciously.

    • IndyRedsFan

      Not Doug, but here are my thoughts. You want him starting in the playoffs…so you need him starting at the end of the year, not in the pen.
      With regards to your last paragraph, I agree completely.

    • Doug Gray

      You want Chapman in the playoffs as a starter. So you do everything you can to ensure that. That means pitching him in the bullpen until June. Don’t get me started on Dusty. I have had a relatively good weekend.

      • Tim

        Doug, so im guessing the Reds will stretch Chapman out during spring training correct? And then when season starts throw him into the bullpen like the Medlen plan? I just dont know how close they can stick to the Medlen plan if Chap is closing because Medlen wasnt closing and so they let him pitch longer then 3 outs. Unless they start bringing Chap out to close a game for 6 outs a game.

      • Doug Gray

        Maybe they don’t put Chapman at closer, but rather a set up type of role where he can come in and throw the 7th/8th on certain days or just the 8th or just the 7th depending on how the line up works out.

    • BobcatRedsFan

      I agree that Felix has been an elite pitcher. I disagree to the extent that the DH impacts the game night in and night out. Yes, the DH can hit. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a dead spot at the bottom of the line-up for most (certainly not all) AL clubs. And unlike pitchers they don’t sacrifice with men on base nearly as often. Texas and Anaheim may be stacked, but there were a lot of clubs that were running out guys in the mid to low .600s OPS in the 7,8, and 9 spots. That makes run production there very rough.

      I wouldn’t give Felix the kind of contract that he received because it so rarely works out for pitchers on long term deals. It might for Seattle, but the odds are definitely against it.

      Cueto has been a real surprise with the production he’s had the last two years. But when you throw in his fragility, I wouldn’t give him a monster contract either.

  11. WallyP

    Doug just a late comment sorry for the delay, I am in NY and very fond of the Yankees, but man did they mes up the Joba(rules) situation. I pray and pray that Walt and Dusty have leaned from the Yankees mistake., I believe in the bottom of my gut that the yankees ruin a career. lets not make he same mistake with Chap