- #26 – 2016 Midseason
- VIDEO: Full at bat (base hit), 3/25/2015
- VIDEO: Three games, 08/15/2015 – 08/17/2015
- INTERVIEW: Interviews with Five Barons: Tim Anderson, Tyler Danish, Nick Delmonico, Peter Tago and Danny Hayes
- Deep dive feature on Hayes, May 2016
- In-person report with video, May 2017
- VIDEO: Full AB groundout, 5/7/2017
- Interview, May 2017
- All FutureSox articles tagged Danny Hayes
- Best defensive 1B in Southern League, per Baseball America (2015)
- Prospect of the Month, May 2016
- International League All Star, Midseason 2017
Hayes didn’t get much notice at draft time, or with a decent but mostly nondescript first two years at Great Falls and Kannapolis. The White Sox unexpectedly double-promoted Hayes from A to AA (leapfrogging Keon Barnum in the club’s 1st base depth chart) to open 2015. His first month of play went about as expected (.153/.247/.222 in 20 games), but after that adjustment period he hit .267/.413/.387 with nearly as many walks as strikeouts. His year at Birmingham is reminiscent of Rangel Ravelo‘s performance at the same level. Ravelo was two years younger, but also had three more years as a pro, and like Ravelo, the lack of power was an issue. In 2016, Hayes opened at 2016 at had in some ways an accelerated version of his 2015 – started slow (O-fer his first 21 AB), then took off and went on a 2-month tear through mid-June (.282/.387/.552, 10 HR in the next 193 PA), putting him on the radar for a major league job. But then he went on the DL and missed the rest of the season with a core muscle injury. He went to the AFL in order to get back into the groove. In 2017 though, Hayes’ numbers dropped off quite a bit in repeating at Charlotte (.228/.327/.415), though he continued to draw walks and hit bombs (19 of them).
In Spring Training 2016, Hayes was part of a select group – Tim Anderson, Adam Engel, Trey Michalczewski, Brett Austin, Keon Barnum and Hayes – that the White Sox had taking separate batting practice during AA and AAA camp games. In batting practice, Hayes consistently displayed good power and slick defensive skills at first base. FanGraph’s Nathaniel Stoltz had Hayes as a sleeper at first base in July 2014, giving him a grade of 60 for future power. Hayes’ ability to take a walk when paired with a left handed bat, defensive skills and raw power put him on the radar, but now 27 years old and having repeated AAA the window (already barely open given his role) is nearly closed. A scout Baseball Prospectus recently wrote about Hayes being a victim of slow twitch actions, for what it’s worth. Especially now with a crowd of powerful potential first baseman at the AAA/MLB levels (Abreu, Davidson, Delmonico, Gillaspie, Palka, Skole), a major league future would take quite bit of magic.
Major League Outlook: Defensive 1B / pinch hitter / platoon 1B / DH
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