Hayes Continues Hot Hitting in AFL…
1B Danny Hayes is one of seven Chicago White Sox prospects playing for the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League this year. Hayes, who made his Triple-A debut in 2016 with the Charlotte Knights, launched a solo home run on October 12 for the ‘Dogs.
Hayes, who led the Southern League in walks (98) and was named by Baseball America as the Southern League’s Best Defensive First Baseman in 2015 with Double-A Birmingham was Charlotte’s 2016 Opening Day first baseman. Over the course of the 2016 season, Hayes appeared in 55 games with the Knights and hit .250 with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs.
The California native started the 2016 campaign by going 0-for-24 at the plate, before he recorded his first hit of the season in his eighth game of the year. Through eight games, Hayes was batting .040. Still, Hayes never gave up. In fact, he got better. Much better.
His resurgence came full circle one April night in Uptown Charlotte.
Hayes played the hero for the Knights on April 22nd at BB&T Ballpark as he launched a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning. Hayes did not start the game, but appeared in the top of the 10th inning to replace Leury Garcia, who came on in the ninth inning as a pinch runner for 1B Travis Ishikawa. The grand slam was the first by a Charlotte Knights player at BB&T Ballpark since Matt Tuiasosopo’s grand slam on July 21, 2015 against the Durham Bulls.
Hayes finished out the month of April as one of the hottest hitters in the International League. A month later, he was the hottest hitter in the International League.
Here’s an excerpt from my Knights Knotes on May 11th:
After hitting just .040 at the plate over his first eight games of the season, 1B/DH Danny Hayes has raised his batting average considerably during a Ruthian-type stretch. Over his last 15 games, Hayes has compiled a .468 (22-for-47) batting average with five home runs and 19 RBIs to bump up his season average to .319 in 72 at-bats this season (not enough to qualify among the league leaders in that category). The California native is hitting .533 (16-for-30) during the month of May (nine games).
Overall in 24 games during the month of May, Hayes hit .313 (26-for-83) with six home runs and 19 RBIs.
He continued his hot-hitting into the month of June and strung together a seven-game hit-streak from June 6 through June 12. Hayes was on-fire!
On June 20, however, the red-hot Hayes was placed on the team’s disabled list. At the time, he was the team leader in home runs and RBIs and was third in the International League in RBIs and fifth in slugging (.489). He was also third in the IL in HR/AB Ratio (1/18.40). Unfortunately, Hayes missed the remainder of the season after being placed on the DL.
Now, the talented slugger is back on the baseball diamond and is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League. Through his first four games played, he has reached base safely in all four games. After a walk in his first game on October 11, Hayes has hit safely in each of his next three games. Stay tuned as Hayes looks to continue his hot-hitting with the Knights in the AFL.