Hayes is a college senior at the University of Vanderbilt who the Reds landed in the 11th round of the 2010 draft. He's a jack of all trades type pitcher, working in relief or spot starting as needed. He stands 6-0 and weighs in at a stout 212 lbs and throws from the right side.
I was able to watch Hayes today working against Florida State in the Super Regionals.
He featured a four seam fastball that sat in the 90-94 range without much movement. He also threw a changeup that sat in the low 80s. He also used a power slider with downward bite that clocked in the mid-80s and what looked like a curveball that was in the 74-75 mph range. Overall, the stuff was far from overwhelming, but was solid-average and the fastball velocity wasn't bad.
Hayes' fastball command was inconsistent, but he seemed better at spotting it to the thirdbase side corner of the plate than to the firstbase side of the plate. That seemed to be the case against both left and righthanded hitters. On the plus side, he effectively mixed his pitches and seemed comfortable throwing any pitch in any situation.
In the Sunday elimination game against FSU, he worked 4.1 innings, giving up 4 hits and 0 runs with a 3/4 K/BB ratio. The first time through the order he started the hitters off with the fastball and worked the offspeed pitches off the fastball. The second time through the order he started hitters off with the offspeed pitches and turned to the fastball as an out pitch. So, he did demonstrate polish in his approach.
On the season, Hayes posted a 4.25 ERA with a .226 batting average against in 48.2 innings. He tallied a 46/22 K/BB ratio and a 6-0 record with 5 starts and 23 appearances. Right now, he gets himself into too many jams, even if he does have some success wriggling out of them. However, more advanced competition is much less forgiving, so that approach won't work as he advances in the professional game.
As for his mechanics, they are fairly clean with the only red flag being a higher than desirable back elbow in relation to his shoulder. That could raise his risk of injury a bit, but it's not extreme and would be even less of a potential problem if he works in relief.
Overall, Hayes seems like a solid pick in round 11. He doesn't offer plus stuff or plus command or an impressive track record, but seems fairly solid across the board. However, there doesn't seem to be much projection left in his game, which is problematic in that his current level of performance didn't even allow him to dominate against collegiate competition, so he'll need to find improvement somewhere to succeed against more advanced competition. Whether that comes in the form of increased velocity or increased command or both, he'll need to take his baseline level of performance up a notch. Still, he's not a bad value in round 11.