May 26, 2013; Durham, NC, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies third baseman Brendon Hayden (34) throws to first base against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the ACC baseball tournament at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Entering the 2014 baseball season, the Virginia Tech Hokies were looking for a power hitter who could give the Hokies some long balls. Mark Zagunis was expected to be a big time run producer but he was definitely not seen as a guy who could be the main power hitter and that was proven by how he only had 2 home runs. However, Virginia Tech was able to find a big time power source who would end up leading the Hokies in home runs and slugging percentage.
Brendon Hayden was a 36th round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies but instead chose to go to Virginia Tech. In 2013, Brendon Hayden was splitting his time between his main role in the infield and being a pitcher for the Hokies. Hayden was solid with 29 RBIs in 2013 but Brendon Hayden had a lot of potential and it seemed that the Hokies should make sure Hayden was used in his best role.
This past season, Brendon Hayden would only make one appearance out of the bullpen and would prmarily play at first base or as the DH. Hayden gave the Hokies the power that the Hokies were looking for with 7 home runs, 43 RBIs, and a .497 slugging percentage. Hayden didn’t just hit the long ball as he knew how to get on base with a .302 batting average and 16 doubles. Brendon Hayden’s defense was average but Hayden was mainly a dangerous cleanup hitter that could drive in a lot of runs.
Brendon Hayden could go this year in the MLB Draft but it would probably be in the 15th to 25th round with the lack of productive history helping Hayden. However, Brendon Hayden has the chance to continue to build next season and become a player that can go in the first 5 to 6 rounds of the 2015 MLB Draft. Hayden has the potential to be a 10 to 15 home run guy next season and the Hokies need to keep him focused on his offense and defense, and not pitching. Hayden can be a star if the Hokies continue to have him be primarily a first baseman and DH.
Follow us on Twitter @GobblerFighting and sign up for our newsletter for the latest news and analysis on the Hokies.