Drew Hayes came into 2013 off of a solid season in Pensacola where he posted a 3.41 ERA in 63.1 innings. The Reds decided to keep the right hander in Pensacola for the 2013 season despite some success there the year before.
April started with a rough outing as Hayes allowed a run on 2 hits and a walk in 0.2 innings. The rest of April consisted of just one game where he allowed another earned run, on the 14th when he allowed 2 runs in an inning of work. He threw 6 shutout appearances during the month and finished April with a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings with 7 walks and 11 strikeouts. Control was an issue during the month as he walked 15.6% of the batters he faced, which is very high. His strikeout rate was strong, sitting at 23.9%.
May began with two 1-inning appearances of shutout baseball before allowing a run on the 7th in an inning of work. His next time out was a struggle though as he allowed 3 earned in just 0.1 innings. He followed that up with 4 shutout innings over two appearances on the 12th and 15th before again struggling as he allowed 5 earned in 0.2 innings against Chattanooga on the 16th. Hayes would finish out the month strong though, allowing just one more run in 6.2 innings pitched. For the month he posted an ERA of 6.14 in 14.2 innings with 9 walks and 17 strikeouts. His walk rate went down to 12.5% on the month, but that rate is still below-average. The strikeout rate remained the same as it came in at 23.6% for the month.
June got off to a rough start as the right hander allowed 4 earned in 2 innings on two home runs to Jacksonville. The month alternated shutout outings and outings where he allowed a run after that to the point where he would finish the month with an ERA of 4.24 in 17 innings pitched with 7 walks and 11 strikeouts. His strikeout rate dropped below 10% for the first time of the year to 9.9%, which is still a tad high but showing improvement. The strikeout rate was down though to 15.5%.
July began with a rough outing against Jacksonville where he allowed 2 runs in 1.1 innings with a home run. He ran off 5 shutout innings over 4 appearances through the 19th of the month. The next three games all saw him allow at least a run before finishing out the month with 1.1 shutout innings against Mobile. July saw the month end with a 5.06 ERA in 10.2 innings with 2 walks and 8 strikeouts. The walk rate was easily the lowest of the year at just 4.8%, a very good rate. His strikeout rate was average on the month at 19%. The improved walk rate, that had dropped three months in a row was good to see even with a high ERA.
The August and September stretch got off to a very rough start as Hayes allowed 8 earned over his first three appearances, spanning just 1.2 innings with 3 walks, a home run and 2 strikeouts. Moving forward he was back and forth, not allowing a run in six games while allowing one run in three. He would finish up the stretch with an ERA of 8.49 in 11.2 innings to go with 8 walks and 14 strikeouts. His walk rate jumped back up to 13.1% while his strikeout rate jumped up to 23% on the month.
While his ERA jumped up 2.01 runs from the previous year, his two seasons were pretty close in terms of his peripherals. His threw 0.1 fewer innings, walked 5 fewer batters and struck out 3 fewer batters than he did in 2012 at the same level. The biggest differences came in the hit and home run columns. In 2013 his BABIP was .369, while in 2012 it was a more normal .307. That explains the hit rate difference. In 2013 he allowed 7 home runs, while in 2012 he allowed just 3 all season. That made a big difference as well. For the second straight year he pitched much better against lefties than against righties. Hayes struggles with his control remain a problem. A walk rate over 10% is tough to overcome at the Major League level. The strikeout rate was solid once again, but the high walk rate is something that must be improved upon as he moves forward. Hayes was sent to the Arizona Fall League to represent the Reds. He will likely be pitching with the hopes to impress enough to be added to the 40-man roster before December.
For more player season review, you can see the entire list here.