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2012 Player Preview: Kaleb Hayes

March 27, 2012
By Justin Bock of Fremont High School



As a freshman Kaleb Hayes became a valuable part of our team defensively and a key pitcher on our staff. Unfortunately, we had a surplus of hitters, so he only had eight plate appearances at the varsity level. Now, however, his hitting has improved and he gets to showcase his entire array of talents, which, by the way, are quite impressive.

I often told Kaleb last year that he has a very pretty swing (most lefties for some reason have smooth swings) but his hands weren't fast enough. Due to increased strength, his hands have sped up while he has retained an extremely fluid, effortless swing. In addition, he can bunt from the left side -- a distinct advantage. He has excellent speed, too. I can see nights where Kaleb might bunt two or three times because his placement is that effective, and he can certainly put pressure on opposing defenses.

As a freshman, he did a lot for us on the defensive side of the ball. He will be even more important this season. In 2012, Kaleb will see time at all three outfield positions, first base, and on the mound. He steps into the #3 starter spot previously filled by a graduated T.J. Guthrie. Last year, Kaleb threw 25.0 innings (fourth most on the team), posting a 2-1 record and a 3.08 ERA. He also was second on the team with 3 complete games -- in only five starts. He covers a ton of ground in the outfield and is ever-improving at 1B.

We weren't sure when he entered high school if he would be a golfer or a baseball player. I am sure, after talking a lot of golf with him, he would have been successful at either. However, for our baseball program, Kaleb as a sophomore is hugely valuable because of his versatility and skill at so many aspects of the game. I know he is ready to get some plate appearances this year, and I can't wait to see what he does with them.


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